Hollywood actress Charlize Theron has never hidden the fact that her mother killed her father in self-defense when Charlize was a teenager, but she hasnt spoken much about the experience publicly. Now, the Bombshell star opened up to NPR about what exactly happened that night.
During the interview, Charlize said that her father, Charles Theron, was drunk and threatened her and her mother Gerda one night in 1991 when Charlize was 15.
“My father was so drunk that he shouldnt have been able to walk when he came into the house with a gun,” she said. “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,” she said. “None of the bullets ever hit us, which is just a miracle.”
Gerda ended up shooting her husband and killing him to save herself and her daughter. “In self-defense, she ended the threat,” Charlize said.
The actress also said her father was a “very sick man” who “was an alcoholic all my life.”
“I only knew him one way, and that was as an alcoholic… It was a pretty hopeless situation,” she continued. “Our family was just kind of stuck in it. And 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.”
Watch Charlize talk about that fateful night and how therapy has helped her over the years:
However, Charlize also said that, “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.”
Charlize added that she shares her story of family violence “with a lot of people.”
“I’m not ashamed to talk about it, because I do think that the more we talk about these things, the more we realize we are not alone in any of it,” she 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.”