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Charlize Theron pained as she realises what had happened “I put a lot of blame on myself….I couldn’t understand where this behaviour came from.”

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Hollywood star Charlize Theron has detailed sexual harassment she faced early in her career, when a “very well-known director” rubbed her knee after inviting her to a Saturday night audition at his home.

 

Theron told US radio station NPR about the night in 1994 and said the director was dressed in silk pyjamas and offered her a drink before he touched her.

“I literally was telling myself as I was driving there on a Saturday night at 9:00pm, ‘Well, maybe that’s how they do it in the movie industry’,” she said.

She said she “very politely apologised” and got out of the house, but that led to feelings of frustration and guilt, and she wasn’t even convinced it was sexual harassment until later in her career.

“I put a lot of blame on myself in the sense that I was angry with myself that I didn’t say all the right things and that I didn’t tell him to, you know, 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,” she said.

“I was really emotional about it because I couldn’t understand where this behaviour came from.”

She said nothing in her past made her feel like “of course, this is why I would apologise and why I would kind of react in this meek way with this guy and not say anything”.

Eight years later, she said the director actually offered her a job and she took the meeting with him and a producer because she “wanted to have that moment that I didn’t get to have with him”.

But when she raised it, she said he just talked over it.

Charlize theron in red bikini

“That is the unfortunate thing about sexual harassment. You never get that moment where you feel like the tables are reversed and now he’s finally getting it,” she said.

She said it took her a long time to realise that it was cultural, not how she was raised, that made her react as she did at the time.

“It was almost like instilled in me that that’s just kind of what you did. You didn’t rock the boat. This was somebody who was going to maybe give you a job,” she said.

Theron was promoting her new film, Bombshell, a movie about legal action against former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes over sexual harassment allegations.

She plays former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly, alongside Australians Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, and has already been nominated for Golden Globe for her work in the role.

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