Charlize Theron was barely an adult in 1994, when a ‘famous director’ invited her to his house for an audition and subsequently sexually harassed her. In an interview with NPR radio, the actress, who plays Megyn Kelly in her latest film, Bombshell, revived those accusations, speaking in detail about her experience.
Watch below: Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman in 'Bombshell' trailer
"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.
Theron’s worries were soon realised, when she arrived to the director dressed in silk pyjamas, who then proceed to offer her a drink and rub her knee – not exactly the normal procedure for an audition. Unsure what to do, she apologised and said she had to leave, but her anger had only just begun to develop.
"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."
Theron did not name the director in her recent interview, but she revealed that she has mentioned him by name on previous occasions, and "every time I disclosed his name, the journalist made the decision not to write his name" – an indication of just how deeply systemic the issue of sexual harassment is.
Although Theron is willing to share her experience, she has refrained from mentioning his name again throughout the promotion of Bombshell, in fear that it would overshadow the important story the film tells.
“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," she says.
"It's not always physical assault. It's not always rape. There's a psychological damage that happens for women in the everyday casualness of language, touch or threat — threat of losing your job. Those are things I've definitely encountered."
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