Actress Jane Fonda said in a new interview that she was sexually abused as a child and also that she has been raped.
Fonda, 79, who is the daughter of Hollywood legend Henry Fonda, was interviewed by Brie Larson for The Edit digital magazine.
“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,” she said.
She did not provides names, or give clues to the identity, of those who raped and sexually assaulted her.
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Some rape victims do not understand that they have been criminally assaulted, Fonda said in her new interview.
“I know young girls who’ve been raped and didn’t even know it was rape,” she said in the interview. “They think, ‘It must have been because I said ‘no’ the wrong way.’”
The changes in society since her own childhood have helped women better understand they are not to blame when they are raped, Fonda said.
“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,” she said.
“I grew up in the ’50s and it took me a long time to apply feminism to my life. The men in my life were wonderful, but victims of a (patriarchal) belief system. I felt diminished,” she said.
Fonda has spoken out before about the impact of rape in her life when she revealed that she believed her mother had been sexually abused as a child, which she said was a factor in her mother’s suicide. Frances Ford Seymour killed herself when Fonda was 12.
Fonda said she had found records of her mother’s abuse when examining her mother’s medical records.
“The minute that I read that, everything fell into place,” Fonda said. “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.”
She said sexual violence is “epidemic.”
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