Entertainment & Arts

Jane Fonda reveals rape and child abuse

Jane Fonda Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jane Fonda said she was "brought up with the disease to please"

Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda has revealed she is a rape survivor and suffered sexual abuse as a child.

In an interview with fellow Oscar winner Brie Larson for The Edit, the 79-year-old also said she had once lost a job because she refused her boss's sexual advances.

The star added she thought being a young actress now was "terrifying" because of female sexualisation.

"You have to get naked so much. There is even more emphasis on how you look."

Fonda said she "felt diminished" growing up because the men in her life were "victims of a [patriarchal] belief system".

She also said she had been "brought up with the disease to please".

'We were violated'

"To show you the extent to which a patriarchy takes a toll on females - I've been raped, 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.

"I know young girls who've been raped and didn't even know it was rape. 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 realise that [rape and abuse is] not our fault. We were violated and it's not right."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fonda took part in the Women's March in Los Angeles in January

Fonda has been a long-time activist and advocate for women's rights and supporter of the Rape Foundation and Rape Treatment Centre in Los Angeles.

She revealed at a benefit in 2014 that her mother, Frances Ford Seymour, was sexually abused as a child aged eight. She eventually took her own life at 42, when Fonda was 12.

Speaking to mark International Women's Day, the Grace and Frankie star said she was happy actresses were now fighting to close the gender pay gap in the entertainment industry, as it wasn't considered an issue 40 years ago.

"I never thought about it - I'm talking about at the height of my career in the '70s and '80s - I never got paid a huge amount of money. I never thought I was worth it," she said.

"For me, it was just the way things were. Guys earned more. I am so glad people are feeling righteous anger about it now."

The daughter of Oscar winner Henry Fonda, Jane has been Oscar-nominated seven times. She won the Academy Award for best actress twice - in 1971 for crime thriller Klute and in 1979 for war romance Coming Home.

She is also known for starring in cult film Barbarella, female centred-comedy 9 to 5 and On Golden Pond, in which she starred opposite her father.


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