Jane Fonda Admits She Knew About Weinstein Rumors And Stayed Silent

Harvey Weinstein

Legendary and often-controversial actress Jane Fonda said she knew about the allegations against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein for a year, and now, she wishes she had spoken out sooner.

"I'm hoping that with this coming out about Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and then (the man) who's now our president, that men will not feel they can get away with it", she said.

But Fonda is relieved the allegations against Weinstein are being exposed and she's proud of the fearless women who are coming forward.

The stories revealed that Weinstein's actions were something of an open secret in Hollywood.

In an interview with the BBC's "Hardtalk" programme to air next Monday, she said Weinstein had been able to sexually harass women for decades "because he's powerful". But Arquette is among the handful of actresses whose experiences with Weinstein were detailed in the New Yorker this week. It's a very, very, very, hard thing to do.

Explaining why she stayed silent, Fonda said, "Because I guess it hadn't happened to me and so I didn't feel it was my place".

Fonda, an Academy Award victor, spoke to Amanpour about her own past experiences with sexual harassment and abuse.

"I will admit that I should've been braver", the 79-year-old celebrity said. "You realize what I'm feeling is ok because this person is sharing my pain", she said. Bill Cosby, you know, another example of Hollywood, but Dominique Scarfone for example, he's not in Hollywood, but this is not unique.

Fonda told Amanpour that Weinstein's pattern of abuse is not an isolated phenomenon. "Let's not think that this is some unique, horrific..." "But I remember him saying to me - and I was 20 - he said to me, you know, in the movie, your character has to have an orgasm and I really need to know what kind of orgasms you have".

The actress called harassment an "epidemic", not just in Hollywood but in "the world of business, science, academia, government".

"In bars, in restaurants and stores, women everywhere are assaulted, abuse, harassed and seen for just being sexual objects, there for a man's desire instead of whole human beings". She and several other women - from young actresses to A-listers - have come forward with additional sordid stories recalling the times they've been "Harveyed".

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