Jane Fonda Says the Only Thing That ‘Mildly Impressed’ Her Cellmates in Jail Was Her History Working With Jennifer Lopez | Video

“They could’ve cared less who I was. They had far more important things to think about,” the “Monster in Law” star says of her 2019 stint behind bars

Jane Fonda opened up about her 2019 stint in jail on Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson’s “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” podcast on Wednesday.

The 86-year-old Oscar winner shared that she was the only white woman in her block for the night, and that no one she met cared who she was — except when it came to her relationship with Jennifer Lopez.

“They could’ve cared less who I was. They had far more important things to think about and none of them had seen any of my movies,” Fonda began. “Jennifer Lopez, Yeah. They had seen ‘Monster-in-Law.’ I pulled that card and they were mildly impressed, but not really. They went right back and talked about what they were dealing with, which was survival issues. It was an eye-opener, I’ll tell you.”

The conversation began with Fonda recounting the experience with Danson, who was arrested with her in 2019 at a Washington, D.C. climate protest. Fonda ended up in jail overnight after being charged by the United States Capitol Police with crowding, obstructing or incommoding. It was her fifth arrest.

“We’re white and we’re famous and we will never really know what it’s like to be Black in this country or brown,” Fonda said at the top of the clip.

“And most people in this world, especially people of color, get arrested in a way different way,” Danson said.

“And yet, even so, there’s something very liberating about engaging in civil disobedience. It’s like putting your whole body on the line where your deepest values are, and you don’t get many chances in life to do that,” Fonda reflected, nodding to her decades of high-profile activism. “Even though we’re treated OK once we’re there because they don’t want to make a stink because we’re white and famous, it’s still, like you said, it matters.”

Danson then asked Fonda what that night in jail was like because “I never asked you.” Fonda recounted being watched over by a female guard for the night — a move she later realized was likely for her own safety.

“I thought, ‘Well, that’s interesting. I’m in jail … I’m locked in. Why is there a guard out there?’ But I noticed also there were a lot of posters all over the walls about sexual abuse, if you have been in jail, attacked or anything like that,” she said, before admitting, “I don’t even want to go into it. It was very clear why I was being guarded.”

Fonda continued: “Meantime, down the hall, nothing but screams. Psychotic breaks are happening and guys are screaming and screaming and banging the doors, and you realize they should be in another kind of place, like a mental health place. They shouldn’t be in jail. I was the only white person there, and then in the morning I ended up being put some place else with a lot of other prisoners, Black women, and it was, you know, it was really interesting.”

The actress then explained that it was not her first time in jail. “I’d been in jail before in 1970 in Cleveland where I was accused by Nixon of smuggling drugs and I was put in a cell by somebody kicking heroin,” she said. “That was not good and I got roughed up a little, but you know, we get off easy.”

Watch the full “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” podcast clip, a new production from SiriusXM and Team CoCo, in the video above.


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