Charlize Theron: 'My father was a very sick man'
Charlize Theron wants to speak about her experiences with “family violence” in order to help others who are going through similar struggles.
The 44-year-old actress grew up in an “unhealthy” environment which saw her mother kill her father in an act of self-defence, and she has now said she is “not ashamed” to talk about the harrowing incident, because she wants to raise awareness for domestic violence.
She said: "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 really is about growing up with addicts and what that does to a person.”
Charlize also opened up about the incident, as she explained her “alcoholic” father had fired three shots at Charlize and her mother, and whilst neither of them were hit by the bullets, her mother acted in self-defence to “end the threat”.
The ‘Bombshell’ star recalled: "My father was a very sick man. My father was an alcoholic all my life. 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 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.”
And of the incident, she added: "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. 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 those bullets ever hit us, which is just a miracle. But in self-defence, she ended the threat.”
Charlize now has two children of her own - August and Jackson - whom she adopted as a single parent, and wants to end the stigma around unconventional families.
Speaking to NPR, she said: "Everything that I hoped would happen during my adoption process did happen because these two babies were meant to be in my life. And they're my children.
"This concept of what a family looks like and what constitutes the 'right' family or a 'strong' family or what we think that should look like. In a lot of places - and I think even for a lot of people and in America - it still feels very traditional in the sense that it should be that every child should have a mother and a father.
"We've kind of wrapped our heads slowly around the idea of two mothers and two fathers, but not so much around the idea of a single parent. It's just so unfortunate. I know so many people who would be incredible parents. My fight was a little bit easier because of my circumstances, but I would want that for all women who want to share their life and be part of raising another young, small child's life."