Jane Fonda came clean in an interview with Chris Wallace about her Hanoi Jane days and her failure as a mother.
She said: “I have very few regrets. I was not the kind of mother that I wished I had been to my children.
“I have great, great children, talented, smart, and I just didn’t know how to do it.
“You know, I have an organization in Georgia that deals with adolescents, and I’ve studied parenting.
“I know what it’s supposed to be now. I did not know then. I am trying to show up now.”
She also spoke about her infamous protests.
CHRIS WALLACE: Your most famous protest was 50 years ago when you went to North Vietnam at the height of the war there.
And you were photographed sitting on an anti aircraft gun. Here’s the picture that was used to shut shut down American plants, critics, and there were millions of them, called you a Hanoi Jane and said you were a traitor.
And the question I have is 50 years later, how do you look back on that particular chapter?
JANE FONDA: It was a terrible mistake. I mean, the reality is, there were 24,000 American troops on the ground in South Vietnam. That’s all the ground troops were going home. The war was being fought by the air during during the Nixon administration.
I spent many years it’s when I made coming home talking to American soldiers, who had been in Vietnam and the things they told me were heartbreaking.
They realized that the war was wrong, that we weren’t wanted there. And that we probably couldn’t win it not because they weren’t a fabulous soldiers. But because of the nature of Vietnam, McNamara said to me, if we’d known what we know now it would have we should not have gone out. I mean, he realized that.
CHRIS WALLACE: So when you say it was a terrible mistake.
JANE FONDA: it was a mistake to go, I never wanted to go to any military installations. It was the last day of my two week time there. And I was I was like a limp noodle what I had experienced and what I had seen, I just I wasn’t able to resist, they said we’re gonna take you out here today. And I didn’t even think and they sang me a song and I’m made me laugh. I sang a song.
That’s what made me laugh. And it was a terrible mistake because of the image that it showed, which was not at all what the reality was. And you know, maybe I was set up but I was an adult, it’s I’m gonna take responsibility for it. If I was Vietnamese, I probably would have tried to do the same thing, you know, but I should not have gone. Hundreds of Americans had gone to North Vietnam, journalists diplomats, our Secretary of State Ramsey Clark, Vietnam veterans, but I said but a movie star hasn’t gone and maybe if I go it will draw more attention, and that’s what it did.
And four months later, the bombing stopped of the dikes. So I feel that well If I did was good, except that I shouldn’t have set gone out to a military place.
CHRIS WALLACE: When you got that nickname Hanoi Jane, how did you feel at the time?
JANE FONDA: Well, I didn’t like it. I mean, you know, of all manner of slings and arrows were thrown my way. But when you know why you did something, and you’re willing to admit the mistakes that you made, but stand up for the things that you did that that mattered?
You’re gonna come through it, okay. And I refused to have them scare me away from being actively against the Vietnam War. And, you know, I think they thought, Oh, she’s this white privilege rich, famous daughter of all of that stuff. You know, we can we can scare her, and boy did they try? And the more they tried, the more.
CHRIS WALLACE: The more you what?
JANE FONDA: I know what I’m doing. I dug in my heels. Screw you. I’m not you know, they all went to jail.
CHRIS WALLACE: Who the people in the Nixon administration?
JANE FONDA: Yeah, they did.
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