I have had Charlize Theron's breasts in my face, right under my nose in fact. You don't believe me? It's true.

In 1994, when I was the founding editor of South African Playboy, the editorial team was looking for its first Playmate, but having trouble as no "respectable" girl who met the standards set by Playboy USA would appear fully nude. I was phoned by someone called Charlize Theron from Benoni.

Accompanied by her mom, and dressed in jeans and a T-shirt (green, if I recall correctly), she came to see me and the magazine's deputy editor and art director (both women) to show us her modelling portfolio. She had done a shoot in the United States made up as a Marilyn Monroe lookalike.

Theron was gorgeous. Moreover, she told us: "I have worked a little in the States and know what Playboy is like, how important it is to one's career to appear in it - and I have no qualms about appearing naked." We had told her that our first Playmate would be shot at Playboy headquarters in Chicago: this was part of the "prize" for being chosen.

I called the publisher into my office to meet Theron. She, in turn, called me out the office and said: "Look, she's lovely, but you know that Playboy - or rather, Hugh Hefner, who every month still vets every Playmate photo shoot - has this thing about Playboy women being large-busted. She's clearly not well-endowed enough."

How do you tell someone that her breasts are too small to make it into Playboy?

But this was what I was paid to do, so the publisher and I went back inside my office and I said, "Er, well, you see..."

"You think my breasts are too small, don't you?" she interrupted.

And then, she whipped off her T-shirt, under which she wore no bra, and said, "You better have a better look. They're sort of hidden under this shirt."

Theron got the job with immediate effect.

Alas, she soon after received a more lucrative modelling offer and, in the end, was not SA Playboy's first Playmate. But she was certainly one of the most confident, single-minded and beautifully-endowed people I had ever met.

  • Jeremy Gordin is the Managing Editor of the Independent News Network