Jane Fonda is “ashamed” of herself for failing to expose the allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Harvey Weinstein after making the discovery a year ago.
The Barbarella star didn’t think she should be the person to blow the whistle on the Hollywood scandal because she had not been among the actresses targeted by the disgraced movie mogul.
“I found out about Harvey about a year ago and I’m ashamed that I didn’t say anything right then,” she told CNNMoney. “Because I guess it hadn’t happened to me and so I didn’t feel it was my place.”
Stars including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Beckinsale have since come forward with their own bad experiences with Weinstein, dating back decades, following the initial expose in The New York Times last week, when Ashley Judd was among the first few alleged victims to speak out.
Fonda, 79, is proud to see women supporting other women in such a difficult situation, because she recognizes how traumatic it can be to go public with stories of abuse.
In a separate interview on CNBC Meets… with host Tania Bryer, she said, “I’m glad it’s coming out. Thank God it’s coming out. Thank God women are talking because back in the days, we were too scared to talk because we thought no one would ever hire us again, you know. And the more women are brave enough and, make no mistake, women who come forward and talk about being sexually harassed, abused or raped, it’s very, very, very, hard (sic). You don’t get anything out of it except fingers being pointed at you and too often people not believe you. So it’s very brave of these women to do it and it gives courage to other women.”
Reports suggest police in New York and London have already launched investigations into incidents purported to have involved Weinstein, and Fonda, who has never worked with the producer before, hopes at least some of his alleged victims will receive a measure of justice.
Asked what she thinks should happen to the fallen film boss “and people like him”, she declared “they should all go to jail”, while also making reference to embattled comedian Bill Cosby, who stands accused of sexually assaulting, drugging, and/or raping more than 50 women in decades-old incidents – all of which he has dismissed.
Fonda continued, “But the question is not just Hollywood, you know… this is an epidemic. This goes on all over the world in all kinds of levels, and you know, very, very powerful men and not very powerful men, but I think that they have to be put in jail. And I think that the women who come forward have to be applauded, respected, listened to and gotten help for, because it really has psychological consequences.”
Weinstein, who was recently fired from The Weinstein Company, the production firm he co-founded, has apologized for aspects of his past behavior, but has vehemently denied any accusations of non-consensual sex.