In a candid interview which aired on Oprah today, Jane Fonda discussed discovering her mother had been the victim of sexual abuse as a child, which helped her understand why her mother took her own life when the actress was only 12 year old.
“My mother was dead; I found out from her medical records that she had been sexually abused and the minute I heard that, it was like, ‘Ah, that explains so much – the promiscuity, the plastic surgery, the hating her body, all of that.’ I wanted to mother her and forgive her.
“It changed my life… I knew it (her mother’s suicide) had nothing to do with me… We have this idea that it’s all our fault and my mother killed herself when I was 12. Suddenly I realised these were her issues, bless her heart.”
Fonda, the mother of two, also discussed how she stays so fit in her 70s. She helped moms back in the 80s get into shape with her infamous exercise videos in which she encouraged viewers to “feel the burn” and is back in the fitness business with a new series of videos aimed at seniors called “Primetime.” Compare her videos then and now:Then: