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Jane Fonda, 85, sparks debate after revealing she won’t date anyone ‘older than 20’

Jess Hardiman

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Jane Fonda, 85, sparks debate after revealing she won’t date anyone ‘older than 20’

Featured Image Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for LACMA/Absolutely Not podcast/TikTok/@dearmedia

Jane Fonda has sparked a debate online after revealing she won’t date anyone older than 20, saying age is a factor if she ever were to ‘take a lover’.

Fonda, 85, has been married three times and was also in a long-term relationship with record producer Richard Perry until 2017.

However, in recent years she’s turned her back on dating, joking that she’d ‘closed up shop’ down there’.

Speaking to Extra at the 2018 red carpet for Book Club, a comedy about four single seniors as their book club tackled the raunchy Fifty Shades of Grey, Fonda reflected on her love life – saying the move was about ‘very important’ things: friendship and sex.

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Credit: Instagram/@janefonda
Credit: Instagram/@janefonda

"And that it's okay for older women to have both,” she said, but went on to add that her own experience didn’t mirror her character’s.

“I'm not dating anymore, but I did up until a couple of years ago.”

“I'm 80. I've closed up shop down there!"

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Fast forward to 2023, and it seems like Fonda’s mind has changed – well, kind of.

In a new interview with comedian Heather McMahan on her podcast Absolutely Not, the Grace and Frankie actor spoke about whether or not her stance had shifted at all.

She explained that, were she ever to ‘take a lover’, they would have to be younger than she is – and we mean a lot younger.

"I'm ashamed to say this, but if I were to take a lover, he'd have to be 20,” she said.

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When McMahan asked why, Fonda continued: "Because I don't like old skin."

Naturally, the podcast host was amused and started giggling, but Fonda doubled down, saying with a straight face: "I don't."

Credit: Absolutely Not podcast/Dear Media
Credit: Absolutely Not podcast/Dear Media

After the clip was posted on TikTok, it was met with a divided reaction from viewers.

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“20 is a BABBBBY,” one said, with another agreeing: “20? I’m not even half her age and I think 20 is too young for my age.”

A third wrote: “Jane noooooooo. Like realllll but noooooo.”

A fourth added: “Couldn’t she have said 30? Or even 40?”

But others pointed out that we perhaps shouldn’t take her comments too seriously, especially as the actor is known for her tongue-in-cheek approach to interviews.

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One said: “People really don’t understand what a joke is! She’s funny.”

Someone else argued: “She was prob just saying 20 for comedic effect.”

A third agreed: “Y’all are not about to try and cancel Jane plz. She’s being funny.”


That said, it’s not the first time it’s come up, having said something similar back in 2021 during a conversation with USA Today.

"I don’t want to be in a relationship, a sexual relationship, again,” Fonda said.

“I don’t have that desire. Do I fantasize? Yes, here’s my fantasy. I’ll just put it out there.

"But the problem is that, like a man, I would want a younger man. Isn’t that awful? It’s a thing about skin. I would want a younger man, and I’m too vain."

She added: “Okay. I’ll be truthful. One of the painful things that I’ve realized by 80 — I don’t even know how old I am — 83, and single now. What I’ve had to really think about is that I’m not really capable (of intimacy).

"It’s not them. It’s me. If a guy had come along and said, 'Come on, Fonda, show up', I would have run away scared.”

Topics: Celebrity

Jess Hardiman
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