The actor gushed about the actress as the two step out to the César Awards in France

By Peter Mikelbank
Updated February 21, 2015 09:50 AM
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Credit: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Sean Penn wants to set things straight concerning Charlize Theron.

Speaking to France’s Le Parisien, Penn stopped his interviewer when asked about “girlfriend” Theron.

“No, no, excuse me, Charlize is not my girlfriend,” Penn, 54, interjected. “She’s the love of my life.”

The two stepped out Friday night to the César Awards, France’s version of the Oscars, where Penn got a standing ovation as he picked up his honorary award. “We have a very strong relationship,” Penn told Le Parisien, adding that the two Oscar winners “have known each other for a very long time. But we weren’t together.”

But after Penn, who was previously wed to Madonna and Robin Wright, and Theron, who split with boyfriend Stuart Townshend in 2009, found themselves both single, they struck up a romance and have been dating for over a year.

They worked together this summer in South Africa, with Penn directing Theron in the upcoming drama The Last Face. “I enjoyed it very much and we’re working on the editing now,” Theron, 39, told reporters on the Césars red carpet, “It will be ready soon.”

While rumors circulate about wedding plans, the couple have been on an extended European tour, mixing romance, business and politics during stops in San Remo, Rome, London and Paris.

Penn will be back on the big screen very soon as his latest film, The Gunman opens on March 20.