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TRAGEDY STRIKES

Charlize is very close to her mother (above). For years the actress claimed her father had died in a car accident, but in fact her mum shot him in self-defence



When she was 15, in Charlize's own words, "everything went wrong". It was then that her mother Gerda shot and killed her father in self-defence, apparently in part to protect her daughter. Gerda, who the actress is famously close to, was not charged with a crime, and for years Charlize told journalists her dad had died in a car accident.

But with her rise to fame, the young star found she had to address the issue head on. "I wish I could change it, I can't," Charlize said of the incident in a 2004 TV interview. "And I know that if my daughter was in the same situation, I would do the same thing."

Following her Oscar win the actress seems to have been dogged once again by the tragic story, but Charlize is ready to put it all behind her. "People go through traumatic experiences and they move on," she says. "I think that's a true survivor."
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