Family Crimes

Charlize Theron Opens Up About Witnessing Mom Shoot And Kill Her Dad When She Was 15

“That was my entire childhood. My trauma was all of that.” 

In a New York Times profile published on Tuesday, actress Charlize Theron spoke about when her mother killed her father in self-defense.

When Theron was 15 and living in her native South Africa, her abusive, alcoholic father threatened Theron and her mother with a gun. He began shooting, and her mom, Gerda Jacoba Aletta Maritz, grabbed her own handgun and shot back. Theron’s father died and his brother was wounded. Officials decided the killing was justified.

“I survived that, and I’m proud of that. I’ve worked hard for that, too,” Theron told The New York Times. “And I am not scared of that. I am not fearful of the darkness. If anything, I am intrigued by it, because I think it explains human nature and people better.” 

She said the aftermath was even worse than the shooting itself. “That was my entire childhood. My trauma was all of that.” 

Theron has played several killers in films including her upcoming role in “Atomic Blonde.” She played a killer in "Mad Max: Fury Road," and in “Monster,” where she played real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos.

“People like Aileen Wuornos that people just want to label and, like, shove under a rug. Nobody wants to examine that human,” Theron told The New York Times. “Nobody wants to look at that person and say, ‘But why did this happen?’ I’m fascinated by the why. Because in many ways, I am here today because of the why.”

[Photo: Getty Images]

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