Charlize Theron Opens Up About How Her Mom ‘Made Her Brave’ After Shooting Her Father In Self-Defense

Charlize Theron has a complicated family history, but she says she now draws “inspiration” from it.

When Charlize Theron was 15 years old, her father, Charles, attacked her mother Gerda, and Gerda shot him to death in self defense.  

Charlize Theron has already opened up about her father’s alcoholism.

In July 2017, on Howard Stern, she talked about how she reacted at the time. 

“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.”

After starting therapy in her 20s, she finally began to deal with the incident.  

“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.”

But she came to realize how resilient her mother was through the whole incident.

“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.”

She also said:

“I think both of us have dealt with that night really well. I think both of us still have to deal with the life that we had — and that’s what people don’t really realize. It’s not just about what happened one night.”

Charlize Theron is now a single mother herself, with two adopted children, and her experiences, and the lessons she learned from her own mother, will help her immeasurably. 

 H/T: InStyle, People