Jane Fonda reveals she was raped, and sexually abused as a child.

American actress and political activist Jane Fonda has said she was the victim of rape and of child sex abuse.

“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 told actress Brie Larson during an interview for Net-a-porter Magazine.

This is the first time the Academy Award winner has spoken publicly about being sexually assaulted.

“I know young girls who’ve been raped and didn’t even know it was rape,” she said. “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.”

“I grew up in the ’50s and it took me a long time to apply feminism to my life,” Fonda told Larson. “I felt diminished. Eventually I decided I wasn’t going to give up who I was in order to please the man I was with.”

Fonda campaigned ferociously against the Vietnam war, undertaking a controversial visit to Hanoi. She opened a centre for adolescent reproductive health in Georgia in the US. She is a supporter of V-Day, to stop violence against women. She has mentored transsexual actors on stage. In 2004, she led a march through Mexico to raise awareness around the murders of hundreds of women and girls.

It doesn’t stop there; she has worked in environmentalism; to end the Israeli–Palestinian conflict; and has spoken out against the war in Iraq.


“I didn’t become an activist until I was 31,”: Fonda said. “When I found out what was really happening in Vietnam I didn’t care if I ever worked again; I considered leaving the business to become a full-time activist. My father was terrified for me. He remembered the ’50s when people’s careers were destroyed. It’s possible the [Hollywood] blacklist will be brought back.”

Calling out the grope. Post continues below.

In between all this, Fonda was a fashion model. She created Jane Fonda’s Workout – the highest-selling video of the time. She became the funny, dry, Monster-in-Law. She won two Academy Awards; two BAFTA Awards; and wrote a handful of books.

“Everyone has the right to speak up; it doesn’t matter what you do,” Fonda said. “Whenever there’s been an important revolution or social upheaval, artists, actors, writers and poets are always the people that can reach into areas that politics can’t.”

Actress Jane Fonda arrives at the 19th CDGA (Costume Designers Guild Awards) at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 21, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

She spoke to Larson about dealing with haters. "If you know you’re right – even when people call you bad words – you can keep going," she said.

On the importance of wellness. "I am almost 80 years old. If you want to make it to the long-haul, you have to take care of yourself. I get more than eight hours sleep every night; I meditate twice a day for half an hour; I eat right; I workout. I always tell activists: 'This is going to be a long struggle. We have to stay strong'."

And, most importantly, she gave us something to remember.

"'No’ is a complete sentence. I wish I had known that when I was younger," she said.