Very young, Jane Fonda lost her mother. Suffering from mental illness, it was after being voluntarily placed under observation in a mental asylum in New York that his mother, Frances Ford Seymour, killed herself by slitting her throat with a razor blade. A few days earlier, her husband had informed her that he wanted to file for a divorce. In an interview with Paris Match, it is with emotion that Jane Fonda agreed to talk about her death. “My mother, abused, bipolar, committed suicide when I was 12 years old. But, we get by. If we work on it. I learned meditation. I took psychotherapy, I read a lot of books. I wrote some, which obliged me to do research on mental health. I am amassed an important knowledge on the subject “, she revealed.
In order not to burden his children further, Henry Fonda hid the truth from them by telling them that their mother had had a heart attack. A few years later, it was when she came across an article in a magazine which recounted the drama that Jane Fonda learned the truth. In September 2018, it was in an HBO documentary, titled Jane Fonda in five acts that the actress and activist returned to this drama. “When I wrote my memoirs, I dedicated the book to my mother because I knew that this would lead me to carry out research on her to try to understand her,” she revealed. Looking at the medical records, she discovered that her mother suffered from bipolar disorder and that she had been sexually abused when she was younger. “As a child you always think it’s your fault … Because the child cannot blame the adult, because he depends on him to survive. It takes a lot of time to let go of this guilt. “
Jane Fonda’s mother suffered from mental illness
In the rest of the documentary, Jane Fonda said: “When you start this type of research … If you can get answers, which I was able to do, you end up saying to yourself: ‘It didn’t. nothing to do with me. I was not a bad girl. She had a lot of problems. ‘As soon as I understood that, I felt immense empathy for her. And I was able to forgive her. ” On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Rape Support Center, it was by revealing to have discovered the medical file of his mother, Frances Ford Seymour that the star had revealed: “When I read that, everything was ‘collapsed. This explained his promiscuity, his multiple cosmetic surgeries, the guilt, his inability to love or be intimate. I was able to forgive him and forgive myself. “
Jane Fonda © BORDE-MOREAU