Charlize Theron has opened up about the night her mother Greda killed her father in self-defense, after he started shooting at them while drunk.
The actor described the incredibly traumatic experience in a interview with National Public Radio in the US, explaining that she was just 15 at the time when her dad – Charles Theron – came home drunk to their farm in Benoni, near Johannesburg, in June 1991.
“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”, she said.
“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. None of the bullets ever hit us, which is just a miracle.
“But in self-defense, she ended the threat.”
The star goes on to say she’s not ashamed to discuss the topic, and that we should all be more open in discussing taboo issues like alcoholism, given her father was a lifelong alcoholic.
“This family violence, this kind of violence that happens within the family, is something that I share 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 realise we are not alone in any of it. I think, for me, it’s just always been that this story is about growing up with addicts and what that does to a person.
“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. 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.
“I think our family was an incredibly unhealthy one. And all of it, I think, scarred us in a way. 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.”