BTG-Charlize Theron has compared press intrusion of her life to rape.

The Oscar-winning star, who is 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 best actress Oscar in 2003 for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, came under fire online for her comments.

One Twitter user said: ‘S he should try telling that to a real rape victim’ and another said: how stupid to comment about press intrusion the same as being raped. Makes my blood boil.  Twilight star Kristen Stewart was forced to apologise when she made similar remarks in 2010 during an interview with Elle magazine.

Twitter users lined up to criticise the star, 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.’ Charlize, who runs her own anti-HIV project in Africa, has taken part in campaigns against 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.