Theron under fire over rape remark
Charlize Theron has faced a barrage of criticism after she compared press intrusion of her life with rape.
The Oscar-winning star, who has been photographed several times since she arrived in the UK to promote her new film A Million Ways To Die In The West, made the comments when she was asked by Sky News if she ever googled herself.
She told the channel: "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."
Asked by the interviewer if she felt that 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."
South African-born Charlize, who won the leading actress Oscar in 2003 for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, runs her own anti-HIV project in Africa and has taken part in campaigns against sexual violence.
In 1999 she filmed an advert for the Real Men Don't Rape campaign in her native South Africa where she told 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: "We are concerned when anyone uses rape as a metaphor for less serious issues and uses the language around sexual violence casually because it trivialises sexual violence and it fails to acknowledge what is a very serious crime.
"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 actress also came under fire online for her comments with Twitter users lining up to criticise her, with one writing: "How could you say press invasion is like rape? Think rape victims would disagree."
Another, who tweets as erin_katie, said: "You need to look at your choice of words. Disgusting, Charlize Theron, get a grip."
Twilight star Kristen Stewart was forced to apologise when she made similar remarks in 2010 during an interview with Elle magazine.