Charlize Theron opens up about watching her mom kill her dad in self-defense
Charlize Theron was just 15 when she saw her mother shoot her father and uncle in her native South African home.
Theron, a South African-American actress best known for her role in Mad Max: Fury Road and Atomic Blonde, has since built her life from the tragic incident that shaped her life.
Filming happened when the current actress was 15 and living with her mother and father in South Africa. Theron’s father, Charles Theron, constantly turned to alcohol when the going got tough.
Subsequently, he became a verbally abusive husband and father.
One evening, Theron’s father came home drunk with his brother after a party. His aunt had already called Theron and his mother to let him know that Charles was restless. Theron knew then that, for the rest of the night, something terrible was going to happen.
Charlize Theron as a child from her Instagram
When his father arrived home, he started shooting. According to Theron’s mother, Gerda, “his father started shooting, first at the locked door of the house, then through the kitchen door”.
As if that weren’t enough, according to the testimony, her father began angrily knocking on Theron’s bedroom door, saying, “Tonight I’m going to kill you both with this shotgun.”
Her dad started filming Charlize’s bedroom. In self-defense, Theron’s mother shot and killed his father while wounding his uncle. Theron was present throughout the ordeal and she struggled until she went to therapy.
“You always think it’s happening to someone else,” Theron told Diane Sawyer.
In an interview with Howard Stern in July 2017, Theron recalled what it was like growing up and dealing with this kind of trauma.
“I just pretended it didn’t happen,” she told Stern at the time of the interview. “Every time someone asked me, I said my father had died in a car accident. Who wants to tell this story? No one wants to tell this story.
She adds in this interview that she “didn’t want to feel like a victim”.
Since she started therapy in her thirties, she has thankfully recovered.
“I survived that and I’m proud of it,” Theron told The New York Times. “I’m not afraid of the dark. If anything, I’m intrigued by this, because I think it better explains human nature and people.