Charlize Theron said she’s “not ashamed” to talk about her mother killing her abusive father in self-defense

This post discusses domestic violence.

In a December 16th interview with NPR, Charlize Theron opened up about the night her mother killed her father in self-defense, telling NPR that she’s “not ashamed” to talk about it. The Oscar-winning actress was only 15 in 1991, the year in which her father attempted to kill both her and her mother. Since then, Theron has realized that talking about it helps her connect to other people who have experienced similar situations.

The Bombshell actress called her childhood home life a “pretty hopeless situation.” Her father, an alcoholic, was unpredictable, and she and her family were “stuck” in “an incredibly unhealthy” dynamic that was caused by his addiction.


"My father was so drunk that he shouldn't have been able to walk when he came into the house with a gun," Theron recalled. "My mom and I were in my bedroom leaning against the door, because he was trying to push through the door...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,” she added. “But in self-defense, she ended the threat.”

Theron is not just unashamed to talk about this instance, but she’s also unafraid to use her own family violence to connect with others.

"This family violence, this kind of violence that happens within the family, is something that I share with a lot of people," she told NPR. "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."

Her personal story is not necessarily uniquely her own. She said, “It’s just always been that this story really is about growing up with addicts and what that does to a person.”

"Of course, I wish what happened that night would have never happened," Theron said. "It's unfortunately what happens when you don't get to the root of these issues."

Though connecting with others over a traumatic event can be incredibly painful for both parties, in the end, as Theron told NPR, it reminds us that we are not alone in our personal battles, no matter how isolating these battles may feel.

If you are a survivor of domestic violence and need help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You are not alone.

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