Jane Fonda's Tragic Past That Was Kept Secret for Many Years

In an interview, Jane Fonda opened up for the first time about a troubled past and her struggle dealing with it.

Talking with fellow actress Brie Larson for Net-a-Porter’s The Edit, Fonda revealed that she endured sexual abuse as a child.

It wasn’t until she reached her 60s that she finally figured out how to say no to people and defend herself. 

Fonda, who underwent successful surgery for a tumor in her breast in 2010, also said that she had once lost a job because she refused her boss's sexual advances.

“I’ve been r***d, I’ve been sexually abused as a child, and I’ve been fired because I wouldn’t sleep with my boss and I always thought it was my fault; that I didn’t do or say the right thing,” she stated.

“I know young girls who’ve been r***d and didn’t even know it was r***. They think, ‘It must have been because I said “no” the wrong way.’ One of the great things the women’s movement has done is to make us realize that [r*** and abuse is] not our fault. We were violated, and it’s not right.”

Fonda, who has been a long-time activist and advocate for women's rights, once opened up about her complicated relationship with her mother, Frances Ford Seymour.

Seymour, who committed suicide in 1950 at the age of 42, had also been sexually abused as a child. According to Fonda, it wasn’t until discovering this after her mom’s passing she understood why their relationship had been so difficult.

Fonda said, “The minute that I read that, everything fell into place. I knew why the promiscuity, the endless plastic surgery, the guilt, the inability to love or be intimate, and I was able to forgive her and forgive myself.”

In spite of her aggressive attitude, Fonda told Net-a-Porter it wasn’t until she reached her 60s that she finally figured out how to say no to people and defend herself. 

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Fonda made her acting debut with the 1960 Broadway play "There Was a Little Girl." She is the recipient of various accolades including two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award.

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