Charlize Theron Gets Emotional Addressing Sean Penn Split: ‘It Didn’t Work Anymore’

Josh Olins for WSJ

Ghosting or not, Charlize Theron is finally confronting her split from Sean Penn. The Huntsman: Winter’s War actress got emotional as she opened up to WSJ Magazine in its April 2016 issue about her 18-month relationship with Penn — and their subsequent breakup last summer.

“We were very, very new in a relationship,” the South African native, 40, told the mag. “There was an understanding that I was a single mom with a very young boy who I had to put in a situation where he understood that Mommy dates but that he does not have a father, you know what I mean? You have to be very careful and very honest about that stuff. And Sean was great with all of that.”

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Charlize Theron and Sean Penn attend the ‘Mad Max : Fury Road’ premiere during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2015, in Cannes, France. Vincent Desailly/Getty Images

The longtime friends, both Oscar winners, went public with their relationship in December 2013, and were instantly inseparable. A year later, as Us Weekly first revealed, they were secretly engaged. Theron developed a friendly relationship with the actor’s 24-year-old daughter, model-actress Dylan Penn — the two still keep in touch — and Penn got close to her son, Jackson, now 4, which was another situation she addressed with WSJ.

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“In my honesty about wanting to have more kids, there was an understanding that a relationship had to go somewhere before it was going to be — what you hope for, which ultimately did not happen,” she reflected of their failed romance. “I couldn’t foresee that, but that stuff takes time and I think it’s my responsibility as a mother to protect my child from that. And we had a very clear understanding.”

Theron joked about divulging too much information about the breakup and even cried with the writer, Alex Bhattacharji. “My publicist’s going to kill me; I’m already saying too much,” Theron said. “She laughs again,” Bhattacharji notes, “and after a moment, another wave of tears arrives.”

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In July 2015, the stars decided that their romance was over after a trip to the Cannes Film Festival. A source told Us Weekly at the time that Theron was the one to break things off.

Josh Olins for WSJ

“When you leave a relationship there has to be some f–ing crazy story or some crazy drama. And the f–ing ghosting thing, like literally, I still don’t even know what it is,” Theron said of icing him out after she broke things off. “It’s just its own beast. We were in a relationship and then it didn’t work anymore. And we both decided to separate. That’s it.”

WSJ noted that Penn declined to comment.


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