Jane Fonda, 82, describes spending night in jail after arrest at protest

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Jane Fonda has described spending the night in jail after she was arrested during a climate change protest.

Prior to the coronavirus crisis, the actress and activist, 82, had been staging weekly protests in front of the Capitol in Washington DC, dubbed Fire Drill Fridays.

She was frequently accompanied by famous friends, including Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, Ted Danson and Joaquin Phoenix, and was arrested and ushered into a police van with her wrists ziptied.

After her fourth arrest last year, she had to spend a night in jail but said she was treated well.

She told Elle USA: “I’m white and I’m famous and I think orders came down from the attorney general to handle me with kid gloves.”

She said she used the red coat she wears to the protests to soften the metal of her bunk and managed to sleep through the sounds of fellow inmates sobbing, screaming and rattling the bars of their cells.

She said: “It’s very hard in life to find a way to align your body with your deepest values, and that’s what civil disobedience can do.

“Even though you’re being handcuffed and put in a situation where you have absolutely no control, it’s like stepping into yourself.

“I have chosen to put myself in this position where I lose all power because of something I believe in. And it’s incredible.”

Prior to the national mandate for social distancing and isolation, Fonda said she had planned to take a two-year hiatus from acting to tour the country and promote the climate campaign.

She added she thinks she is a good messenger because of her age, saying: “I’m 82, which is very useful because people say, ‘Well, gosh, if she can do it, I can do it, too.’”