Charlize Theron Details the Day Her Mom Killed Her Dad

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When you think of Charlize Theron, it’s likely that you picture a stunning, South African princess – all long, tanned limbs, big blue eyes, and flowing, bouncy golden locks. And that’s undeniably her iconic look. But what you may not realize is that Theron has led a deeply troubled life.

For a long time, she’s been quiet about the darkest aspects of her childhood. But in a candid interview with NPR, Theron has spoken out. Alongside talking about growing up in apartheid-era South Africa, Theron detailed a traumatic sexual assault by a famous Hollywood director. But the biggest revelations were on her home life growing up…

She rose to prominence in the later nineties, with leading roles in The Devil’s Advocate (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), and The Cider House Rules (1999).

Newer Theron fans may recognize her best from the Mad Max: Fury Road and Snow White & The Huntsman. Theron also runs her own independent film company called Denver & Delilah Productions.

And, on top of her acting range, she’s also pretty multifaceted in her appearance. In 2003, the undeniably stunning Theron donned prosthetics to play serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, in Monster. Her performance earned her an Oscar win – the first-ever for a South African actress.

Along with being hugely talented in many different arenas, Theron is also absolutely beautiful.

It’s clear she hasn’t had the easiest of lives – as she detailed in a candid interview with NPR this week.

“It was only until I was 12 or 13 that I went to an art school in Johannesburg where I really got to witness firsthand absolutely the atrocities of apartheid,” she explained.

“And what I discovered while in therapy, trying to save my relationship, was that I had a lot of trauma from being a young child growing up in South Africa during the apartheid era.”

“That was a lot for me to carry; it still is. It’s something that I’ll carry for the rest of my life.”

She also talked about her past sexual assault by an esteemed (but as yet unnamed) Hollywood director – another thing that still affects her to this day.

“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.”

“You don’t know that because every time I disclosed his name, the journalist made the decision to not write his name, and it goes to show just how deeply systemic this problem is.”

There’s one that overshadows everything. And Theron has bravely decided to speak up on the subject.

“My father was a very sick man,” she revealed.

“My father was an alcoholic all my life. I only knew him one way, and that was as an alcoholic.”

“It was a pretty hopeless situation. Our family was just kind of stuck in it.”

“The day-to-day unpredictability of living with an addict is the thing that you sit with and have kind of embedded in your body for the rest of your life, more than just this one event of what happened one night.”

“I think our family was an incredibly unhealthy one. And all of it, I think, scarred us in a way.”

For Theron’s family, there was no happy ending to her traumatic childhood.

“Of course, I wish what happened that night would have never happened.”

And she has, for the first time, shared the harrowing details of what happened the night her mother killed her father.

“My father was so drunk that he shouldn’t have been able to walk when he came into the house with a gun.”

“My mom and I were in my bedroom leaning against the door, because he was trying to push through the door.”

“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.”

It seemed to come down to allowing her father to continue or taking drastic action.

“In self-defense, she ended the threat,” Theron explains.

She bravely chose to open up as to why she’d decided to share her story.

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

And not talking about these issues leads to a feeling of silence and shame.

She also thinks speaking out about these issues helps others in similar positions.

“I do think that the more we talk about these things, the more we realize 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.”

And we can only imagine those who’ve been through similar situations are hugely grateful.

On top of her growth and recovery from a traumatic past, Theron is also a massive advocate for the gender-neutral community, too. Scroll on to learn about her latest cause.