Jane Fonda doesn't need a man to be whole

Jan 12, 2012 at 8:10 p.m. ET

Jane Fonda thought she would never be whole again after her divorce because she didn't have a man. See how she changed her mind and found the happiness we can only give ourselves.

Jane FondaHailed as a feminist icon of her generation, Jane Fonda has made a startling confession: She didn't feel like a whole person and woman until she hit her 60s.

Fonda made her confession during an interview on Oprah's Master Class, saying her "seminal moment" came when she divorced Ted Turner.

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"I remember when I was 62 and I had done something that was very, very, very painful and difficult," Fonda recalled. "I had left Ted Turner, my third husband, who I loved very, very much."

Turner is an incredibly wealthy media mogul, but Fonda said despite his "23 huge properties and a private plane that slept eight… I knew that I would die married and rich, but not whole."

When she left her husband of ten years, "I moved into the guest room in my daughter's home," Fonda said. "It was a small room with no closet, me and my golden retriever, and it was perfect."

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"I was so raw and so sad, and at the same time I could feel myself moving back into myself. I knew -- I knew! -- that hard and painful as this was, that I wasn't scared of being alone," Fonda said. "I wasn't scared for the first time in my life to not be with a man, and that whatever lay in front of me, I would be able to do it as a whole person. It was a seminal moment for me."

Fonda and Turner remain close friends, and the actress credits the experience with learning her true self.

"Everything came late to me -- my voice, my becoming whole, my learning intimacy. All those things happened after I turned 60," Fonda explained. "And I think it's a very hopeful lesson. It is never too late."

Image courtesy Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com