Charlize Theron Speaks About the Night Her Mom Fatally Shot Her Dad in Self-Defense

Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters
Stephanie Lecocq/Reuters

Charlize Theron still carries with her the memory of the night her mother fatally shot her father—but it wasn’t the formative trauma that has defined her life, the actor told Town & Country in a new profile. Instead, Theron said, what “really, really marked me… more than just one night in my life” was “growing up in a country under apartheid and having AIDS come.” In June 1991, when she was 15, Theron’s father threatened her and her mother. “My father was so drunk that he shouldn’t have been able to walk when he came into the house with a gun,” the Mad Max: Fury Road star told NPR in 2019. “My mom and I were in my bedroom leaning against the door because he was trying to push through the door.” After he fired through the door, Theron’s mother shot back in self-defense, killing him in front of their teenage daughter. But Theron balked at Town & Country’s suggestion that the episode seeded her desire to fight gender-based violence. “I would say this: It’s a simple correlation to make,” she says. “But I think it’s way more complicated than having just one night of trauma in your life.”

Read it at Town & Country

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