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Jane Fonda reveals she was raped: ‘I always thought it was my fault’

The iconic actress opened up about the painful experience for the first time in a candid new interview.

In a powerful new interview with Net-a-Porter’s The Edit, Jane Fonda has opened up about the rape and sexual abuse she experienced as a child.

“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,” she said. “I always thought it was my fault; that I didn’t do or say the right thing.”

Jane became a global sex symbol after landing the role of the futuristic siren Barbarella in the 1968 cult classic.

The 79-year-old added, in the interview conducted by fellow actress Brie Larson, “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.”

“Everyone has the right to speak up; it doesn’t matter what you do.”

And speak up, she did. The Grace And Frankie actress has devoted much of her life to women’s rights.

But the iconic actress explained that it took many years to find her voice – unlike Brie, 27, who said she already chooses her roles with a discerning eye. (Brie’s moving performance in Room (2015) earned her several prestigious awards, including Hollywood’s most prestigious honour: an Oscar).

“Unlike you, Brie, it took me 60 years to learn how to say no,” Jane said.

“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. Now, I would say, ‘No. This is a piece of s–t. I don’t like the way you’re treating me,’ and leave.”

Brie will hit silver screens again in the soon-to-be released film, Kong: Skull Island.

In 2014, the mother-of-two and two-time Academy Award winner revealed that her mother, Frances Ford Seymour, had also been sexually abused, which she only discovered after reviewing her medical records while writing her memoirs.

Tragically, Frances took her own life at just 42.

“The minute that I read that, everything fell into place,” Jane said while speaking at the 40th anniversary of the Rape Treatment Centre. “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.”

The Rape Treatment Centre in Santa Monica, California, provides free treatment for sexual assault victims.

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