Jane Fonda is an Academy Award-winning Hollywood legend who’s enjoyed a decades-spanning career, but she’s not been immune to the pressures of maintaining a camera-ready physique, she revealed this week on the Call Her Daddy podcast.
The 80 for Brady star explained that in her twenties, she suffered from “very, very bad” bulimia. “I led a secret life,” Fonda told host Alex Cooper. “I was very, very unhappy. I assumed I wouldn’t live past 30. I didn’t go out. I didn’t hardly date ’cause I was unhappy and I had this eating disorder. And then I was also making movies that I didn’t very much like.”
Fonda also described the emotional toll that bulimia took on her. “It takes days and then at least a week to get over one single binge,” she said. “It’s not just the fatigue. You become angry. You become hostile. All of the trouble that I got in was because of that anger and that hostility.”
Fonda says it took until she reached her forties for her to rid herself of the impulse to binge and purge. “I was living a very full life. I had children, I had a husband—I’d had two husbands by then—I was doing political work, I was doing all of these things,” Fonda said. “My life was important, but I was becoming less and less able to continue it. And so I just went cold turkey and it was really hard. But the fact is, the more distance you can put between you and the last binge, then the better it is. It becomes easier and easier.”
Fonda has been vocal about her struggle with an eating disorder in the past. “If I had it to do over and it was nowadays, I’d probably go to a 12-step program or something, but I didn’t know what it was,” the actress said on CBS’s The Checkup: With Dr. David Agus last December. “I didn’t know there was a name for it, and I didn’t know that you could go someplace.”