Halle Berry joked about Jewish noses while taping "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" Friday afternoon — but she says she's sorry and she didn't mean any harm.
The star, on the show to promote her movie "Things We Lost in the Fire," was showing Leno and his audience images of herself on her computer using the Mac program Photo Booth, which distorts images like a carnival fun-house mirror, the New York Post's Page Six gossip column reported.
According to one audience member, "She introduced the first photo by saying, 'Here's where I look like my Jewish cousin!' — it was a picture of her with a huge, distorted nose. No one laughed, and Jay nervously said, 'I'm glad you said that and not me.' When the show aired, they cut out her 'Jewish' comment and added a laugh track to the bit."
Another guest in the audience told Page Six, "If you watch the clip, you can see Halle saying the word 'Jewish,' though obviously there is no audio. NBC covered her a—. Ms. Berry should know how unbelievably inappropriate her comment was ... She should be ashamed of herself."
Berry, 41, who sounded like she was near tears, told Page Six Monday night: "I so didn't mean to offend anybody — and after the show I realized it could be seen as offensive, so I asked Jay to take it out, and he did."
The actress, who is 4½ months pregnant with her first child by boyfriend Gabriel Aubry, said, "What happened was I was backstage before the show and I have three girls who are Jewish who work for me. We were going through pictures to see which ones looked silly, and one of my Jewish friends said [of the big-nose picture], 'That could be your Jewish cousin!' And I guess it was fresh in my mind, and it just came out of my mouth. But I didn't mean to offend anybody. I didn't. I didn't mean any harm."
Berry, who even offered to call Page Six's source and apologize in person, said, "It was just a lighthearted segment that was meant to make fun of myself. There was a picture where I said I looked like Monica Lewinsky and one where I said I looked like Jay. It was just supposed to be a silly segment. I am so sorry, and I apologize."