Actress and activist Jane Fonda has always been candid about her complicated relationship with her dad, Henry Fonda.
But recently, the actress spoke out about another difficult aspect of her childhood — her mom, Frances Ford Seymour, committing suicide when Jane was only 12-years-old.
Jane's parents, Henry and Frances, in January 1940. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“She suffered from mental illness, what would today be called bipolar [disorder],” explains the 78-year-old star, who grappled with feelings of being unlovable from an early age. “When a parent isn’t around, the child assumes it’s her fault. And that’s what I did.”
The lasting trauma of losing a parent at such a tender age haunted the Barbarella star for many years, before she finally awoke one day with a new revelation.
Jane with her father, Henry, in 1979. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“You have a choice: You can go through life believing you’re unlovable and feeling guilty about what happened, or you can try to understand that your parent was suffering from something and didn’t know how to heal,” she shares. “If you can look back and see it with understanding and with an open heart, then you can forgive. [In hindsight] it was the difficult things that could have broken me that went on to teach me the most.”
To read the full story on Jane, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!