New York -- In an interview with TIME magazine’s Josh Tyrangiel, Jane Fonda opens up about her divorce from Ted Turner, saying “The fear is always that if you speak up you’re going to lose your man—well I did, and I did. But I couldn’t have been happy otherwise.” TIME’s interview with Fonda, along with exclusive excerpts from the her new book My Life So Far (Random House), appear in the upcoming issue of TIME (on newsstands Monday, April 4).
On her divorce from Ted Turner Fonda tells TIME: “I came to a point that was utterly terrifying. I told the man I loved, the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, that changes needed to be made. It doesn’t matter what they were. What matters is it took me so long to break the silence,” she tells TIME. Fonda insists that what the public saw in her divorce from Turner was not the confused end of yet another phase, but the assertive debut of her complete feminist self, a project that had been quietly flourishing while the marriage deteriorated, TIME reports.
When Fonda decided to stay in Atlanta after the break-up, it was widely presumed she did so to stay close to Turner; in fact, she moved into her loft (actually four lofts combined into one) so that she could be nearer the downtown offices of the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP), an organization she founded after learning that Georgia had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the country.
Highlights from time’s book excerpts include:
Fonda on participating in threesomes with her first husband Roger Vadim: “Sometimes there were three of us, sometimes more. Sometimes it was even I who did the soliciting. So adept was I at burying my real feelings and compartmentalizing myself that I eventually had myself convinced that I enjoyed it. I’ll tell you what I did enjoy: the mornings after, when Vadim was gone and the woman and I would linger over our coffee and talk. For me it was a way to bring some humanity to the relationship, an antidote to objectification. I would ask her about herself, trying to understand her history and why she had agreed to share our bed (questions I never asked myself!) and, in the case of the call girls, what had brought her to make those choices. I was shocked by the cruelty and abuse many had suffered, saw how abuse had made them feel that sex was the only commodity they had to offer,” writes Fonda.
Fonda on the infamous “Hanoi Jane” photograph: “Here is my best, honest recollection of what took place. Someone (I don’t remember who) leads me toward the gun, and I sit down, still laughing, still applauding. It all has nothing to do with where I am sitting. I hardly even think about where I am sitting. The cameras flash. I get up, and as I start to walk back to the car with the translator, the implication of what has just happened hits me. Oh, my God. It’s going to look like I was trying to shoot down U.S. planes! I plead with him, ‘You have to be sure those photographs are not published. Please, you can’t let them be published.’ I am assured it will be taken care of. I don’t know what else to do. It is possible that the Vietnamese had it all planned. I will never know. If they did, can I really blame them? The buck stops here. If I was used, I allowed it to happen. It was my mistake, and I have paid and continue to pay a heavy price for it.” Fonda writes.
Fonda on her 30-year battle with bulimia: Binge and Purge: Fonda was initially introduced to bulimia through a friend in high school, ‘We would binge and purge only before school dances or just before we were going home for the holidays, and then we would ferret away all the chocolate brownies and ice cream we could get and gobble it up until our stomachs were swollen as though we were five months pregnant. Then we would put our fingers down our throats and make ourselves throw it all up. We assumed that we were the first people since the Romans to do this; it was our secret, and it created a titillating bond between us,” Fonda writes. “For me the disease lasted, in one form or another, from sophomore year in boarding school through two marriages and two children, until I was in my early 40s. My husbands never knew, nor did my children or any of my friends and colleagues,” writes Fonda.
Story is available on TIME.com.
Contact: Ty_Trippet@timeinc.com 212-533-3640 or Kimberly_noel@timeinc.com 212-522-3651