Charlize Theron Recalls Painful Memory of Her Mother Killing Her Alcoholic Father in Self-Defense

Charlize Theron recalled a painful memory of her childhood during an interview with Howard Stern on Wednesday, July 19, Us Weekly reports.

Theron spoke candidly about the night her mother shot and killed her alcoholic father in self-defense, and the effects it had on her life.

"I just pretended like it didn't happen," she told Stern when asked how she dealt with her father's death. "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."

In addition to not wanting to explain the story, she didn't want to experience other people's reactions.

"I didn't want to feel like a victim," she said. "I struggled with that for many years until I actually started therapy."

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The Atomic Blonde star, 41, told Stern she began therapy in her "late 20s, early 30s." What she learned was that she had come to terms with her father's death, but she couldn't get over her dad's alcoholism.

"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," she explained. "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 [not.]"

Through it all, her mother was there to give her support.

"I have an incredible mother," Theron concluded. "She's a huge inspiration in my life. … 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."


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