Bombshell actress Charlize Theron has opened up about the night her mother shot and killed her father in an act of self-defence.
In a recent radio interview, the 44-year-old actress remembered her late dad as “a very sick man”. “My father was an alcoholic all my life. I only knew him one way, and that was an alcoholic,” she said. “It was a pretty hopeless situation. Our family was just kind of stuck in it.”
One night in 1991, Theron says he came home drunk with a gun and was trying to push through the front door.
Theron, who would have been 15 years old at the time, was with her mother, Gerda, on the other side of 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,” Theron told People. “None of those bullets ever hit us, which is just a miracle. But in self-defence, she ended the threat.”
Her mother was not charged.
The actress’ decision to speak out now seems to be spurred on by the current social climate. “I do think that the more we talk about these things, the more we realise we are not alone in any of it,” Theron said. “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.”
“All of it, I think, scarred us in a way,” she continued. “Of course, I wish what happened that night would have never happened. It’s unfortunately what happens when you don’t get to the root of these issues,” she added.
This wasn’t the only harrowing story Theron detailed. In recent reports, the Academy Award winning actress has alluded to a male director sexually harassing her – but has never gone into any details until today.
As the storyline of her new movie Bombshell tells of the ousting of Fox News Head Roger Ailes over accusations of sexual misconduct, Theron has decided to speak up about her own experiences.
In 1994, just three years since the death of her dad, Theron visited a “very famous director” on a Saturday night for an audition. She remembers him wearing silk pyjamas and offering her a drink while rubbing her knee. “I was just starting out; I didn’t know the ins and outs, and said to myself as I was driving there at 9pm…‘Maybe that’s how they do it in the movie industry?” she said.
“You don’t [know what to do]… if you haven’t experienced it, it’s a very difficult thing to wrap your head around. I wasn’t even fully convinced this was sexual harassment until later in my career,” Theron added. “I put a lot of blame on myself…that I didn’t say all the right things, and that I didn’t tell him to take a hike, and that I didn’t do all of those things that we so want to believe we’ll do in those situations.”
Theron apologised to the director and left the house. A few years later, the same man offered her a role in his movie, a part she wanted to refuse in person and then call him out on his behaviour.
“[He] just moved on from the conversation, he just didn’t want to address it. At that moment, it was clear to me that it wasn’t his first time and that he had been doing this before and that other women had called him out. His way of handling it was just to talk over it and about the project.”
“Unfortunately, it was not the moment I so wanted. There was no reward in it…I’ve heard this repeatedly in hearing other women’s stories, and that is the unfortunate thing about sexual harassment. You never get that moment where you feel like the tables are reversed and now he’s finally getting it.”
Sharing stories like this… well, the tables are reversing. We believe you Charlize.