How Charlize Theron Feels About the Night Her Mother Killed Her Father

Throughout her career, Charlize Theron has played strong women on screen. She recently opened up about one of the strong women in her life: her mother. Here’s how Theron’s mother killed her father.

Charlize Theron | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Charlize Theron gets candid

The incident happened in July 1991. Theron was 15 years old at the time. Her, father, Charles Theron, started threatening her mother, Gerda.

Theron told People “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.”

Theron added “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.” She told People her mother shot her father in self-defense.

Charlize Theron is not ashamed of what her mother did

Theron has no issue discussing that night. “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. 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.”

Charlize Theron | Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

She continued “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.”

Theron described her relationship with her father, saying “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.”

Theron is aware that she’s not the only one to suffer this sort of trauma. She added “This family violence, this kind of violence that happens within the family, is something that I share with a lot of people.”

Christina Aguilera grew up in a similar environment

Christina Aguilera | Jeff Kravitz/AMA2017/FilmMagic for dcp

Christina Aguilera is another major celebrity who grew up in a toxic environment. According to Bustle, she addressed her childhood in the song “I’m Ok.” In the song Aguilera sings “”It hurt me to see the pain across my mother’s face / Every time my father’s fist would put her in her place.”

The song continues: “Hearing all the yelling, I would cry in my room, hoping it would be over soon / Bruises fade, father, but the pain remains the same / And I still remember how you kept me so afraid.” 

In 2000, Aguilera told Rolling Stone “I think the reason that my drive was so strong and I was so passionate about music was because I grew up in an environment of domestic violence. Music was my release to get away from it all.”