Movie star Charlize Theron opened up in a recent interview with NPR about the harrowing night her mother fatally shot her father in self-defense, describing one portion of the incident as “a miracle.”
The encounter reportedly unfolded at the family home near Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1991, when Charles Theron — Charlize’s father — drunkenly threatened his then-15-year-old daughter and his wife, Gerda.
“My father was so drunk that he shouldn’t have been able to walk when he came into the house with a gun,” Charlize recalled. “My mom and I were in my bedroom leaning against the door, because he was trying to push through the door.”
Both the “Bombshell” actor, 44, and her mother tried to block Charles from making his way into the bedroom, but they were unsuccessful.
“[B]oth of us were leaning against the door from the inside to have him not be able to push through,” she said. “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.”
Gerda soon took matters into her own hands. “In self-defense,” Charlize said, her mother fatally shot Charles. Ultimately, no charges were brought against the actor’s mom.
Charlize then told NPR about the importance of being open about addressing family violence.
“I’m not ashamed to talk about it, because I do think that the more we talk about these things, the more we realize we are not alone in any of it,” she explained. “I think, for me, it’s just always been that this story is about growing up with addicts and what that does to a person.”
She added that her father was a life-long alcoholic and a “very sick man.”
As far as Charlize’s religious beliefs, she is hardly a Christian. She was reportedly raised in a religiously open home and describes herself as a pagan.