Actress Charlize Theron fears strict laws that prohibit parents beating their kids are responsible for turning American kids wild.

The Oscar winner grew up in South Africa and was often on the receiving end of a beating at the hands of her disciplinarian mother GERDA - and she insists she deserved every one.

Theron says, "It couldn't happen in America today, because she'd be put in jail, and to me that's a very sad thing, because I always deserved it.

"Never once did I go, 'God, this is so unfair.' Afterward, I would go up to her and apologise, because I knew that I had been wrong."