“There is this need to sensationalize things,” Theron explained. “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 added: “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.”
Theron, 40, and Penn, 55, began dating in 2013, and split last summer.
She also opened up about how the adoption of daughter August, her second child, coincided with the relationship: “When you’re with somebody and it comes to kids, you can’t bulls—. And so I was always very honest with Sean that I wanted to have more kids. And he was very supportive.”
Theron further dismissed reports that Penn was considering adopting her son Jackson, 4.
“It’s not something that happens in 18 months. You can’t do that to a child.
“So 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.”
Inside Charlize Theron and Sean Penn’s Split
The Oscar winner said that she tried to protect her son Jackson from the ups and downs of her relationship with Penn – until she determined whether it was going to materialize into something more serious.
Theron said that she and Penn “had a very clear understanding” that she planned to adopt August – which she did just two months after their breakup. She never planned to adopt with Penn, she said.
Penn and Theron have since reunited, filming reshoots on their movie The Last Face in July – just over six weeks after ending their relationship.
Regardless, it seems both are moving on, with Penn’s daughter Dylan telling PEOPLE last year that the actor is doing well.