Charlize Theron, are you crazy?
Is SA’s most famous actress heading for trouble, asks Carrie Linder.
(Getty Images)
To me, Charlize Theron has always been the epitome of beauty, talent and grace. She is someone who has never lost touch with her South African roots, she seems genuinely warm and unaffected by fame and in my eyes she could do no wrong. Until I stumbled across an article about her and her latest beau.

There they were strolling down the aisles of a supermarket. Picture after picture of Charlize, her adorable son Jackson and... Sean. Penn.  I did a double-blink in the hope that my eyes were deceiving me but Sean Penn was still very much there.  Yes, the very same Charlize Theron who grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father.  And yes, the very same Sean Penn who beat his first wife, Madonna, to a pulp.

And it’s not as if Sean Penn just got frustrated and gave Madonna a little slap. He tied her up and beat her for eight hours, and so violently that policemen failed to recognise who the victim was. This outburst wasn’t a once off either, he has been arrested for assaulting a photographer (which got him 33 days in jail) and his 20 year relationship with Robin Wright Penn was also fraught with rumours of abuse. What a catch, huh? Run, Charlize, run.

Am I being too harsh? Maybe. Can people change? It has been known to happen. Does everyone deserve another chance? Charlize’s mother certainly didn’t give her abusive husband another chance when she shot him dead in self-defence. And as a fellow mother I wholehearted agree with and commend her actions.

But let’s assume that Sean Penn is a changed man. Really, really changed. And he will never, ever lay a finger on a woman in an abusive manner ever again. What then? Well, I still don’t think Charlize should date him. I’m sorry, I just don’t!  It’s a matter of principle. Not just for herself, but out of solidarity to all the abused women who must look up to her as a hero and role model: the one who survived an abusive upbringing, the one who got away and made a success of her life. I think for those women, she should walk away and never, ever see him again.

Anti-abuse, anti-rape ambassador

For those of you thinking it’s none of my business, I disagree. Through her charity work Charlize Theron has made herself an ambassador for broken and abused women. She has used her fame as a platform to do amazing work through her own charity, as well as partnering with many other worthy organisations.  She has starred in a South African anti-rape advert and in 2009 she was also designated as United Nations Messenger of Peace, a role which focuses on HIV prevention and the elimination of violence against women. But now, as a woman and a mother, how can I take this work seriously when she is dating someone who was charged with felony domestic assault?

Being a mom comes first

But more than anything, I don’t think she should be in this relationship because she is a mother. If she was childless, then it would be her problem if she wanted to risk a fist to the face. Each to their own. But she is a mother.

As a mother you are a protector. You are a guardian and it is your responsibility to make sure you do everything in your power to keep your children safe and, as far as possible, surrounded by positive and healthy role models. I think Charlize seems like a wonderful mother. Loving, hands-on and caring. From what we can see via the media it seems her first priority is always her two-year-old son, Jackson. So I have to question her wisdom by getting involved with this man. What kind of a role model and father figure is Pack-a-Punch Penn going to be for her child?

Let’s hope that for Charlize and Jackson’s sake this leopard has changed his spots. But personally, I don’t care if she’s has her black belt in karate and her mother’s number on speed dial, my advice to Charlize Theron would be to send Sean Penn packing before he can pack his next punch.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Read: Child abuse: You can help

Do you think Charlize can take care of herself and her child?

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