The West

Theron gets rape backlash
Charlize Theron. Picture: Reuters

Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron has sparked a flurry of criticism after she compared media intrusion into her life to rape.

The South African-born star, who was in Britain to promote her new film A Million Ways to Die in the West, made the comments when she was asked by a Sky News interviewer if she ever entered her name in a search engine.

She said: "I don't do that, so that's my saving grace. When you start living in that world, and doing that, you start, I guess, feeling raped."

Pressed on whether she felt so strongly about the issue, she said: "Well, you know when it comes to your son and your private life. Maybe that's just me.

"Some people might relish all that stuff but there are certain things in my life that I think of as very sacred and I am very protective over them."

Theron, 38, won the best actress Oscar in 2003 for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She runs an anti-HIV project in Africa and has campaigned against sexual violence.

In 1999 she made an advertisement for the Real Men Don't Rape campaign in South Africa, telling viewers that every 26 seconds a woman is raped in the country.

Katie Russell, a spokeswoman for sexual violence charity Rape Crisis in England and Wales, said: "What is particularly surprising is that this case does not come out of ignorance, as Charlize Theron has been involved in campaigns around rape and sexual violence, so she should understand that when she speaks there will be a huge number of victims of sexual violence among her audience."

The West Australian

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