JANE FONDA REGRETS THE "BETRAYAL" HER PHOTO ON A NORTH
VIETNAMESE ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN SYMBOLIZED -- "60 MINUTES" SUNDAY
Iconic Actress Wasn't "Forced" by Husband Roger Vadim Into Three-Way Sex, But Says
"I Went Along With it" in Her First Interview About Her Upcoming Autobiography
Jane Fonda has no regrets about her trip to North Vietnam in 1972 -- with one big exception: her visit to a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun site used to shoot down U.S. pilots. She says her appearance there, which earned her the epithet "Hanoi Jane," was a "betrayal" of the U.S. military, its soldiers and "the country that gave me privilege." She regards the event as one of the biggest mistakes of her life. Fonda speaks to Lesley Stahl in her first interview about her upcoming autobiography, Jane Fonda: My Life So Far, for a 60 MINUTES report to be broadcast Sunday, April 3 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
"The image of Jane Fonda, Barbarella, Henry Fonda's daughter�sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal�the largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine," says Fonda. She does not regret, however, visiting the enemy capital, Hanoi, or being photographed with American prisoners of war there -- despite the propaganda value it afforded the enemy. "There are hundreds of American delegations that had met with the POWs," says Fonda. "Both sides were using the POWs for propaganda�.It's not something that I will apologize for," she says.
Nor is she sorry for the broadcasts she made on Radio Hanoi, something she asked the North Vietnamese to do. "Our government was lying to us and men were dying because of it, and I felt I had to do anything that I could to expose the lies and help end the war," she tells Stahl. She went on Radio Hanoi at least 10 times, speaking directly to American pilots and criticizing their bombing of North Vietnam. Fonda insists she did not ask the pilots to disobey orders. "I'm asking them to consider [not bombing North Vietnam]," says Fonda. She wouldn't make similar broadcasts in Iraq today, however, saying, "I don't think it's the same situation at all. When I went [to North Vietnam]�we had been fighting in Vietnam for eight years. The majority of Americans�[and] Congress opposed the war. It was a desperate time."
Fonda is also candid about her private life, revealing, for example, that she willingly participated in three-way sex at the request of her first husband, Roger Vadim, the French film director. "One night Vadim brought another woman into my bed and I went along with it�.I'm competitive�I was going to keep up with the Joneses. It was the 60s and whatever," she tells Stahl, adding that she isn't sure if she liked the m�nage a trois. But, "I know one thing: it really hurt me...and it reinforced my feeling I wasn't good enough." She went along with the sex, she says, because "I felt that if I said no, that he would leave me and I couldn't imagine myself without him."
Sometimes Fonda solicited the women herself. "Hey, if that's what he wanted, I'd give it to him in spades," she tells Stahl. She says the women she procured for Vadim were call girls and that she used what she learned from them for her Oscar-winning turn as a prostitute in "Klute."
Asked why she would write about such private matters, Fonda responds, "I knew that if I didn't really fess up about how far I went in the betrayal of my heart, that it would not make the journey that I've been on�as important and as poignant."