Charlize Theron Said She Was Sexually Harassed by a "Very Famous" Director
Charlize Theron opened up about experiencing sexual harassment early in her career.
In an interview with NPR, the actress said she was sexually harassed by a "very famous" director in 1994, when she was just starting out as an actress. The director invited her to audition at his house on a Saturday night, and when she got there, Theron said, he "wore silk pajamas and offered me a drink and rubbed my knee."
"I was just starting out; I didn’t know the ins and outs, and said to myself as I was driving there at 9pm … 'Maybe that’s how they do it in the movie industry?'" she recalled.
At the time, she apologized to the director and said she had to leave, but became angry with herself once she began driving away.
"I just kept hitting the steering wheel," she said. "I put a lot of blame on myself ... that I didn't say all the right things, and that I didn't tell him to take a hike, and that I didn't do all of those things that we so want to believe we'll do in those situations."
Though Theron did not name the director in this interview, she told NPR's Terry Gross that she had mentioned him by name in previous interviews, and "every time I disclosed his name, the journalist made the decision not to write his name."
She added that while she doesn't have qualms about naming him, she did have concerns about naming him while promoting her latest film Bombshell, which details the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News.
"I'm conflicted in the sense that I know that if I said his name again while promoting this film, that it would take over the importance of the story and that would become the story. And I think there will be a time and a place where I will definitely share this again the way I have always been honest about it. I don't want to protect him, but I also don't want him to overshadow this film right now."
Theron previously mentioned the experience in a 2005 interview, telling Marie Claire that when the director opened his door, "he was in his Hugh Hefner pajamas. I thought, Maybe this is how he works. I go inside, and he's offering me a drink, and I'm thinking, My God, this acting stuff's very relaxed — when do we actually start working? It pretty soon became very clear to me what the situation was."