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

Rozina Sabur
Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda has revealed she was raped as a child in a candid interview with fellow Hollywood star Brie Larson.

The Oscar winner said she had always thought the rape and sexual abuse she suffered were "her fault" in an interview with fellow actress Ms Larson.

Jane Fonda - Credit: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock 

Ms Fonda also revealed she was once fired from a job because she would not have sex with her boss.

In the interview, to mark International Women's Day next week, the 79-year-old said that "the women's movement" had made victims realise that rape and abuse are "not our fault". 

"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 in The Edit magazine.

The mother-of-three said she had come across girls who were unaware they had been sexual assault victims. 

"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." 

Ms Fonda and The Room star  Ms Larson also discuss feminism and parenting in the interview.

Brie-Larson.

Ms Fonda said she regretted that she was not "a better parent" but added "I am trying to make up for what I didn’t know before".

Sharing her thoughts on modern Hollywood, Ms Larson said body image and feelings of self-worth were often intertwined. 

"I've learned the only power I have in my career is the word no,' she said."I couldn't choose the jobs I got, but I could say no to jobs that weren't right for me."  

Ms Fonda, in contrast, said it has taken her six decades to learn "to say no".

"If anyone offered me anything I would say yes," she confessed. "I took parts I wasn't right for and I was taken advantage of.

"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."

"Eventually I decided I wasn't going to give up who I was in order to please the man I was with," she added.

"I became an embodied feminist when I was single and saw Eve Ensler perform The Vagina Monologues. While I was laughing, my feminism carried from my head into my DNA. It took a long time, though, because I was brought up with the disease to please."

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