Charlize Theron Has Opened Up Again About Her Traumatic Childhood

Theron has spoken out about her alcoholic, abusive father and his subsequent death, at the hands of her mother

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Charlize Theron is known for her hard-as-nail roles in movies such as Mad Max and her Oscar Winning film Monster.

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And the 41-year-old South African is also made of stern stuff off the silver screen.

She has been relatively open about her childhood, which saw her suffer under an abusive relationship between her parents.

Her alcoholic father was physically abusive to her mother, Gerda, and verbally abusive to her as a child.

This culminated in the eventual killing of her father at the hands of her mother.

Charlize Theron and her mother, Gerda

In a 2004 interview with Diane Sawyer, she spoke publicly about how her father returned home, drunk, when she was only 15. He shot into her bedroom, and Charlize's mother shot him dead to stop him.

The court agreed with her explanation that it was in self-defence.

Now she has spoken out further on the incident, discussing how her teenage self dealt with the insurmountable horror she had witnessed.

Whilst promoting her newest film, Atomic Blonde, she spoke on the US radio show host Howard Stern about her past.

She told Stern that it took her a long time to deal with the death of her father:

I just pretended like it didn't happen. I didn't tell anybody — I didn't want to tell anybody. Whenever anybody asked me, I said my dad died in a car accident. Who wants to tell that story? Nobody wants to tell that story.

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It was partly her fear of other's reactions that kept her from speaking freely of the tragedy, 'They don't know how to respond to that. And I didn't want to feel like a victim. I struggled with that for many years until I actually started therapy.'

She only started therapy in her late 20s and early 30s, meaning she spent 10 years avoiding the truth of the situation.

And she learned that although the killing itself was traumatic, it was actually the daily stress and fear of living with an alcoholic, abusive father that made more of an impact on her,

I think what more affected me for my adult life that happened in my childhood was more the every day living of a child living in the house with an alcoholic and waking up not knowing what was going to happen. And not knowing how my day was going to go and all of it dependent on somebody else and whether he was not going to drink or drink.

She also spoke of the awe she feels towards her mother in how she dealt with it:

I have an incredible mother… She's a huge inspiration in my life. She's never really had therapy. So a mother who never really had therapy dealing with something like that — trying to get your child out of that. Her philosophy was 'This is horrible. Acknowledge that this is horrible. Now make a choice. Will this define you? Are you going to sink or are you going to swim?' That was it.

You can listen to the entire interview here:

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