Hollywood icon Jane Fonda has lifted the lid on her mother’s tragic suicide.
Frances Ford Seymour took her own life on her 42nd birthday hours after returning home from a mental institution.
And tragically, Fonda, who was only 12-years-old, refused to see her troubled mom before she took her own life.
The 80-year-old said: “She had convinced the people at the institution she was getting well and they let her come home with a nurse. My brother and I had been upstairs playing jacks.
“Grandma called for us to come down and I wouldn’t go. I said to Peter, ‘You go, I’ll let you win if you go down. I’m not going.’ I never saw her again.
“She snuck a razor out of the house and killed herself.”
The famous actress claims the tragedy was the defining moment in her life in a new two-and-a-half-hour TV documentary, Jane Fonda In Five Acts.
Sadly, Fonda revealed that her mother and her famous father actor Henry Fonda had a very unhappy marriage.
She explained: “My mother was a very complicated woman. Very, very, beautiful woman. But she always seemed sick.
“We would sit in the living room and I’d hold her hand and it would be trembling. And I didn’t want her to feel bad so I’d make mine tremble, too.
“I think my father was not the person she ever should have married. He was not kind to her.
“My father went to Broadway to do Mr Roberts and so we moved to Connecticut. That was where her mental health was really deteriorating.
“I didn’t know it at the time but the sister of the stage manager was seven years older than me and my father had fallen in love with her.
“It was a difficult time for my mother. I remember sitting at dinner table, and there were tears pouring down my mother’s face. My grandmother and brother were there. Then, I remember one afternoon her being taken to a hospital.”
And sadly her mother’s death resulted in an emotional gulf between her and her father while it triggered health problems for the icon also
Despite being known as a fitness guru she developed issues with anorexia and bulimia at an early age.
“Dad dropped the news, then went back to New York and did his play. That was dad,” she said.
“Mothers are often blamed for that, but for me it was my dad. I made him ashamed. He thought I was fat. I knew he didn’t want me around because I embarrassed him. He told people that.
“I heard my father say things about my body that has twisted my life ever since. And by the way, most of his wives suffered from eating disorders, including my mother.”
If you or someone you know is in an emotional distress or suicidal, please call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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