"It Was My Fault": Why Jane Fonda Blamed Herself For Her Mother's Tragic Suicide?
September 24, 2018 17:02 By Fabiosa
Legendary Jane Fonda has overcome a lot in her life. Now, known as one of the biggest Hollywood feminists, her childhood was filled with abuse and abandonment.
In recent years, Fonda became very open about her fight against patriarchy. She was able to make it as an actress, despite harassment and indecent proposals from industry's executives. But it wasn't easy for Jane, who had to come a long way from never being close to her parents and being doubted by men to becoming one of the greatest actresses of our time.
One of the biggest tragedies that set a course for Jane as a person, was dealing with her mother's suicide, which was absolutely devastating.
Accepting the tragedy of her mother's suicide
When Jane was 11 years old, her legendary parents Henry Fonda and Frances Ford Seymore got a divorce. Her mother, who always struggled with depression, completely disappeared from Jane's life in order to seek help at a mental institution.
While Frances was away, Henry also wasn't there for his daughter during one of the hardest times of her life.
One day, Frances briefly returned home, but Jane was filled with too much resentment to see her, unaware it would be the last opportunity to be with her mother.
Not long after, Jane was told her mother passed away from a heart attack. Everyone was trying to protect the young girl from the truth, but it soon came out in the worst possible way.
Fonda discovered that her mother slit her throat from a magazine. As Jane revealed during an interview with Oprah:
A year after my mother died, I was in study hall and a girlfriend passed me a movie magazine, in which it said that my mother had cut her throat.
Heartbroken Jane immediately thought back to the time she refused to see her mother and started blaming herself for what happened:
I thought, if I had gone downstairs and seen her that day that she came to the house, then she wouldn’t have killed herself. It was my fault.
How she'd learned to forgive herself
The devastating guilt stayed with Fonda for many years, until she was granted access to her mother's hospital records.
Jane discovered the real reason for her mother's suicide, which set her free:
One of the most important things that I learned is that [my mother] had been sexually abused. Everything fell into place.
Although the truth was heartbreaking, Fonda finally stopped blaming herself for that terrible tragedy.
Today, Jane inspires others with her strength. We will never stop admiring her spirit and ability to overcome even the most devastating things in her life.