Jane Fonda Recalls Harrowing Sexual Abuse

Jane Fonda bravely shared that sexism in Hollywood extends way beyond the pay gap—and into the realm of sexual 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," the now 79-year-old actress told Brie Larson in The Edit.

Fonda's conversation with the Room (2015) star is significant: Larson is a sexual assault survivors' advocate (and recently refused to applaud Casey Affleck at the 2017 Oscars).

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

In 2014, the Barbarella (1968) star revealed at a Rape Foundation event that her own mother, Frances Ford Seymour, was raped before committing suicide at 42.

"The minute that I read that, everything fell into place," she said (via The Hollywood Reporter). "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."

Fonda also dished on how show business can perpetuate sexist ideals.

"It took me 60 years to learn how to say no," the Grace and Frankie star admitted. "If anyone offered me anything I would say yes. I took parts I wasn't right for and I was taken advantage of. I didn't know how to stand up for myself," she said. "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."