Charlize Theron on her mom killing her dad: 'I am not ashamed to talk about it'

18 December 2019 - 09:01 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Charlize Theron.
Charlize Theron.
Image: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron has opened up about the darkest chapter of her life, saying she is not ashamed to talk about it because she wants others going through similar situations to not feel alone.

In a recent interview on NPR, Theron spoke about her upbringing on a farm with her mom, Gerda Maritz, and dad, Charles Theron.

She described her dad as a “very sick man” and said living with an alcoholic was a “pretty hopeless situation”.

“This family violence, this kind of violence that happens within the family, is something that I share with a lot of people,'' she said.

“I'm not ashamed to talk about it because I do think that the more we talk about these things, the more we realise we are not alone in any of it. I think, for me, it’s just always been that this story really is about growing up with addicts and what that does to a person.”

Speaking about the moment her mom shot and killed her dad in self-defence, Theron said she wished what had happened that night had never happened.

“My mom and I were in my bedroom leaning against the door, because he was trying to push through the door. So both of us were leaning against the door from the inside to have him not be able to push through.

“He took a step back and just shot through the door three times. None of those bullets ever hit us, which is just a miracle. But in self-defence, she ended the threat.”

Theron’s mother was not charged, as the incident was ruled an act of self-defence.

This isn't the first time Theron has spoken about her father or the night he was killed.

In 2017, TshisaLIVE reported that Theron said living with her father was “far worse”.

“I was floating through Europe, working as a model and living a gypsy life. I pretended like it didn't happen. I didn't tell anybody. I used to say my dad died in a car accident. I didn't want to be a victim.

“The things that affected me was a child living with an alcoholic and not knowing what was going to happen and not knowing how my day was going to go. And all of it dependent on somebody else and whether he was going to drink or not.”

Theron told the New York Times that the incident led her to take on challenging roles, instead of roles that focused on her looks.

“I survived that, and I'm proud of that. I've worked hard for that, too. And I am not scared of that. I am not fearful of the darkness.”