Jane Fonda regrets not speaking up earlier about Harvey Weinstein.
The film star, who is also an active women’s rights advocate, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that she “found out about Harvey about a year ago.”
“I’m ashamed that I didn’t say anything right then,” Fonda said.
The Oscar award winning actress said that she was never assaulted by the movie mogul.
In the past week, multiple women have come forward accusing Weinstein of rape, assault and other misconduct.
The movie producer denies the charges and released a statement earlier this week, through a representative.
“Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual,” the statement said.
The stories revealed that Weinstein’s actions were something of an open secret in Hollywood.
Fonda, 79, said that her friend and fellow actor, Rosanna Arquette, had recounted a troubling experience with Weinstein.
Fonda declined to discuss what Arquette told her. But Arquette is among the handful of actresses whose experiences with Weinstein were detailed in the New Yorker this week.
Arquette said she denied advances Weinstein made in a hotel room. “He made things very difficult for me for years,” she told the New Yorker.
When asked why Fonda didn’t say anything publicly after she spoke with Arquette, Fonda said, “I guess it hadn’t happened to me, and so I didn’t feel that it was my place.”
Fonda, an Academy Award winner, spoke to Amanpour about her own past experiences with sexual harassment and abuse. She says she was abused as an 8-year-old child and explains why therapy was important for her recovery. “You realize what I’m feeling is ok because this person is sharing my pain,” she said.
In recent years, she’s championed women’s issues and co-founded the Women’s Media Center in 2005.
Fonda told Amanpour that Weinstein’s pattern of abuse is not an isolated phenomenon.
“Let’s not think this is some unique, horrific [incident]. This goes on all the time,” she said. “It’s this male entitlement — in Hollywood, and everywhere. In offices and businesses all over the world, in bars, and restaurants and stores, women are assaulted, abused, harassed and seen for just being sexual objects, there for a man’s desire, instead of as whole human beings.”
She added that President Trump’s election marked a setback for the effort to combat such behavior. There are documented claims that Trump has harassed and insulted women, and he was also famously caught on tape bragging about being able to grab and touch women due to his social status.
“When you are a star, they let you do it,” Trump said in his now infamous videotape.
“You can do anything,” he boasted.
Fonda says the fact that Trump won the election “counteracts a lot of the good that we’re doing, because a lot of men say, ‘Well, our president does it, and he got elected even after people discovered that he was an abuser, so I’m just going to go ahead and do what I want to do.”
“We have to stand up to them,” Fonda added.