Jane Fonda: My Father Henry Fonda Made Me Bulimic
At 78 years old, Jane Fonda is the picture of health. But she hasn’t always been.
The ‘80s fitness icon battled eating disorders for much of her adult life — and believes her emotionally abusive dad, the late, legendary actor Henry Fonda, planted the seed.
“When I hit adolescence and the specter of womanhood loomed, all that mattered was how I looked and fit in,” the Grace and Frankie actress wrote in the March 23 Lenny newsletter. “My father would send my stepmother to tell me to lose weight and wear longer skirts. One of my stepmothers told me all the ways I’d have to change physically if I wanted a boyfriend.”
Fonda was 12 when her mother, Frances Ford Seymour, committed suicide. Soon after, Fonda began struggling with bulimia — sometimes purging up to 20 times a day. This went on until she was 35. “Like three of my father’s five wives, I developed an eating disorder (probably to fill the emptiness),” she explained.