Jane Fonda Says She Was Raped, Sexually Abused, Fired For Refusing Sex Advances


Jane Fonda revealed in her latest interview that she was raped, “sexually abused as a child,” and fired because she wouldn’t “sleep with her boss.” The feminist actress spoke to the Edit about the impact of her own history with sexual abuse.

Actress Jane Fonda revealed in her interview with Oscar winner Brie Larson in the latest issue of the Edit that she had been a victim of rape, sexual assault, and has faced lots of other hardships because she was a woman.

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Fonda and Larson discussed the role that feminism has played in the 79-year-old actress’ life and why she feels gender equality is a cause so close to her heart.

“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.”

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Fonda admitted that it took her a “long time” but that she eventually learned to become an “embodied feminist.” The actress began to become passionate about activism, and she can see now that the feminist movement has effected positive change.

“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 realize that [rape and abuse is] not our fault. We were violated, and it’s not right.”

Jane Fonda has been an advocate for female sexual health and survivors of sexual abuse for a long time now. In 2000, she founded the Jane Fonda Center for Adolescent Reproductive Health at Emory University, which works to make scientific advancements with adolescent reproductive health.

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In 2014, Jane spoke with Glamour about how sexual assault victims are treated. The reason the actress shared about her own experience with rape and sexual trauma was because she believes that raising awareness and talking about it is the only way to heal.

“Rape and sexual abuse and incest is epidemic. We need to talk about it, and we need to believe the victims when they talk about it. We need to understand that there are ways to heal.”

The Grace and Frankie actress also spoke about the importance of standing up for yourself and saying “no.”

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The 79-year-old actress said it took her “60 years to learn how to say no.” In Hollywood, it was difficult for Fonda to turn down any parts, regardless of whether they were right for her.

“I was taken advantage of. I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. Now, I would say, ‘No. This is a piece of s–t. I don’t like the way you’re treating me,’ and leave. If only I had known then what I do now.”

Jane Fonda has made a name for herself as a political feminist activist these days. The actress has spoken on behalf of women and has rallied against President Trump’s Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline orders.

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Jane Fonda’s full interview with Brie Larson is available in the March issue of the Edit.

[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Staff/Getty Images]

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