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Charlize Theron compared the intrusion in her life to being raped. Twitter/@HarryWinston

Charlize Theron has provoked outrage after comparing press intrusion to rape.

The actress was being interviewed by Sky News ahead of the release on her film A Million Ways To Die in the West.

Asked whether she googled herself, the South African born star replied: "I don't (Google myself) - that's my saving grace. When you start living in that world, and doing that, you start feeling raped."

She added that she is "protective" of both her privacy and that of her son Jackson.

"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."

Her insensitive comments come as the whole world is reeling at reports of the horrific gang rape of two young sisters in India.

The A list star's remarks are all the more shocking since her mother Gerda was a victim of domestic abuse. Gerda shot and killed Theron's father in self-defence in 1991.

Theron also won an Oscar for her portrayal of rape victim and serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 2003 and has represented charities providing support to victims of rape.

In 1999, the actress appeared in an advert in South Africa where she outlined the country's shocking rape statsistics.

Katie Russell a spokesperson from Rape Crisis England and Wales reacted to the actresses comments saying: "To us, it is always disappointing when someone high profile uses that language and turns sexual violence into a metaphor for something else. It is never appropriate and it trivialises the experience of sexual violence.

"The experience is devastating, as we have come to learn working with women who have been through it, and the impact can be life-long or very long term. Press intrusion is a very difficult experience but it is not appropriate to compare it to sexual violence," explained Russell.

"It's particularly disappointing in this case because Charlize Theron has campaigned against sexual violence before. She doesn't really have an excuse and it will upset people who have survived attacks."

Online editor of Grazia magazine in South Africa Cheska Stark told Sky News that the actress should have been more careful with her comments in view of the high incidence of rape in South Africa.

"I understand that she has been violated but to compare that violation with that of a rape victim, for me is ridiculous," said Stark.

Members of the public also turned to Twitter to condemn the actress for her callous comments.

"According to Charlize Theron being raped feels like being so rich and famous that you're the subject of international media attention," said another.

"I have no idea how awful it must be to have no privacy, but #GwynethPaltrow and #CharlizeTheron have no freaking clue about the real world!," wrote one person, angered by her comments.

Another stupid comment by a celebrity," wrote one Twitter user, while another fan of the star said simply: "Shocked and disappointed."

There have been calls for the Oscar winner to apologise for her remarks. Twilight star Kristen Stewart was forced to apologise when she made similar remarks in 2010 during an interview with Elle magazine.

Theron's comments come a week after Gwyneth Paltrow faced criticism for comparing her struggle with internet trolls to being a soldier in a war.