ANSWERING ATTACKS ON MY CREDIBILITY AS A PHILANTHROPIST

I’m not in the habit of responding to erroneous attacks and slander aimed my way but, when someone accuses me of being a hypocrite with regards to my financial support of organizations and causes I believe in, I feel compelled to answer back.

Last week a website called The Smoking Gun said that one of my foundations didn’t donate any money from 2006 to 2011. They neglected to mention that I have actually contributed over $2.7 million during this 5 year period. Just because it wasn’t out of this particular foundation doesn’t make it illegal.  All of my foundations, including the Jane Fonda Foundation referred to in the Smoking Gun website, are in complete compliance with the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury regulations related thereto and I am appalled by the lack of integrity and misleading information that the press claims to think is news.
 
First, I created the Jane Fonda Foundation (the one in question) in 2004 using $1,000,000 of my own money.  In 2004, I gave out $450,000 to create a center in my name at Emory (see photos above) and endow a chair at Emory named for Dr. Marion Howard, the nationally respected expert in adolescent reproductive health who was my mentor. That year and with Dr. Howard’s guidance, I also helped create the state-of-the-art Grady Teen Clinic at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital, one of the largest public hospitals in the Southeast.  The clinic sees 1,000 unique teenage girls and boys a year. (See more about the Jane Fonda Center & Teen Clinic on the right side of my website homepage).
 
The second year after its creation, my foundation gave $500,000 to GCAPP (Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention) a statewide non-profit that I founded in 1995. The giving just in these two years from this one foundation came to a total of $950,000 and my financial advisors warned me that I was seriously eroding the corpus of the foundation and that, unless I wanted to spend it all down and have no foundation left (which was not what I wanted) I had to wait for it to build back up. 
 
My other foundation, Fonda Family Foundation, was created in 1998 with the money given to me by my then husband, Ted Turner. He is a generous man and knows how much I care about my various philanthropic efforts.
 
Between my two foundations and my personal funds, I have given over $2 million dollars to GCAPP. By the way, the acronym GCAPP now stands for the GA Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential because we have expanded our focus to reduce teenage obesity and increase physical activity. (See more about GCAPP on the right side of my website homepage).  I have given over $1 million to the Emory University-Jane Fonda Center and continue to heavily support both of these organizations. 
 
Since 2006, between my two foundations and my own personal finances, over $3 million dollars have been contributed to various causes.
 
It is a shame that “News” outlets chose to report on a fraction of this without checking their facts and telling the whole story. I will continue to support the various causes that I believe in as much as I can. And I hope that these outlets will do their part to give a platform to these causes, instead of sharing information that’s incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading.
 

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33 Comments
  1. You are an inspiration Jane, to many women, across the world. You are of those few people who truly make the world, a better place.

    • Thanks, Ada.

      • Dear Jane,
        Sometimes we indeed need to defend such attacks. Nicely done! I have followed your philanthropic work for many years now as we have a mutual friend in Peter Bahouth. The work you do for teens, especially young women, is tremendous. As Editor for South Magazine in Savannah, I would love to do a cover story on your good works! Keep it up and let me know how best to cover you!

  2. Hi Jane,

    Good for you!!

    Aren’t we blessed these days to be able to correct inaccuracies immediately and directly on the internet? Shame one still has to though!

    Have a great Christmas with your family and friends.
    Take care
    Jason

  3. Jane, I’m sorry that you had to go through this just before your birthday and the holidays, but know that you’ve faced tougher things than this hiccup before. The Smoking Gun’s stories have been riddled with inaccuracies and half-truths over the years and in this case your detractors were quick to pounce. We all owe you a great debt for your compassion and philanthropy over the years. Let’s face it, you didn’t go out of your way to help others because you needed more fame or notoriety, would benefit from it financially, or because you had time on your hands. You’ve always been out there for others.

    The happiest of birthdays and the merriest of Christmases!

    Brian

  4. Dear Jane: You are an amazing woman who helps many people. Do not let anyone put into question your admirable work. You are a great lady. A big kiss.

  5. Très chère Miss fonda, bonjour depuis Paris!

    Comme on dirait ici en France “Laissez tomber la neige!”, I think we can translate that like “Let it snow!”. You are a philanthropist for sure, for good and for long time. That’s probably the reason why you receive attacks from a kind of people whom themselves are not AT ALL philanthropists. Even if I don’t react to each of your posts I follow you through your Facebook page.

    Recevez, très chère Miss Fonda, l’assurance de mes sentiments respectueux et admiratifs.

    Thierry

  6. hello from France jane
    that’s stupid. If this smoking gun said that your organisation win not enough money, why they give not money for this ?! words is well but action is better!
    don’t matter Jane. you are very maervelous woman and look after very well of your organisations..
    be careful
    Isabelle

  7. Jane,

    Anyone who has read your blog/Facebook/twitter entries can clearly see your unwavering commitment to the causes close to your heart. I have always greatly respected you because of just this. Obviously this “Smoking Gun” is not a responsible news source. Sounds more like a National Inquirer type thing. Definitely not worth my reading time.

    Have a beautiful Christmas! I hope you are spending it with loving friends and family.

    Susan

  8. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Eleanor roosevelt

    What more does one need to say?

    Blessed Holy Days to you and all in your world,

    cj

  9. Anybody who knows you and that means even through this blog, never believed a word of that. People like that live to find fault with someone. Reading what you do, the causes you are involved with, it wouldn’t remotely be taken seriously even without your answer to it. Still it’s good you did respond. Don’t let them get away with it 🙂

  10. After reading this, I went to The Smoking Gun’s website and clicked on about.

    “The Smoking Gun brings you exclusive documents–cool, confidential, quirky–that can’t be found elsewhere on the Web. Using material obtained from government and law enforcement sources, via Freedom of Information requests, and from court files nationwide, we guarantee everything here is 100% authentic. The site, founded in April 1997 by William Bastone, Barbara Glauber, and Daniel Green, was acquired by Court TV in December 2000. The Smoking Gun is part of Turner Entertainment Digital Network, which is part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network, itself a division of Time Warner, a media conglomerate headquartered above a mall in midtown Manhattan.”

    I was surprised that the website giving negative and inaccurate information about you is part of Turner Entertainment Digital Network. I hope Ted Turner takes it upon himself to defend you and apologize for the inaccurate information. I also hope he removes the article/info from the The Smoking Gun website.

    On a completely different subject, I noticed an awesome painting/picture on the wall to the right of the Emory University – Jane Fonda Center sign. Do you happen to know who the artist is?

    Take care and please keep writing.
    -Kristen

  11. Thanks so much for all you do, Jane! From my earliest teens, you’ve inspired me to challenge myself, make fitness a priority and enjoy an active lifestyle. Yes, the weight comes and goes, but I’m really looking forward to clicking over the 5,000 mile mark on my bike in 2014, averaging 1,000 miles per year at altitude. As you move ahead with your activity programs for girls, take a look at Women’s Sport Foundation’s Go Girl Go program (and Girl Scouts). Sports are so important to girls, not only for the activity, but confidence, team building and social awareness. WSF has great research on girls in sports having lower likelihood of sexual abuse, too. Whether you join forces or expand the reach, it thrills me to no end that the needs of our young girls are at the forefront of your work. What I really wanted to say (on this winter solstice day) is HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANE! Enjoy the holidays!

  12. Because as a trully fan, I follow everything related to you,even before this Blog, I know about your Foudations,and I don´t need any “smoking gun” to tell me anything about it! You,as Ava says, has been an inspiration for woman all over the world, not only in USA!I think the first time I heard about the “Jane Fonda Center”, was on “OPRAH”,when I was still living in New York City. Am I right?
    I wish you and your entire family a very happy Christmas and a Wonderfull New Year.From Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with love.

  13. And I have to say; outside of finding your “blog”, I really didn’t know very much about you at all. And I’m glad of that. I don’t *like* you for what you do; I love you for what you have meant to me, for what you mean to me. What you “do” is a direct result of who you are, as a person in this life; and I love you, again, pretty simply. Xoxox <— infinity.

  14. And then I’ll shut up (maybe).

    I don’t care if you ever “post” anything of mine. I follow you here, because I can; because you are important to me. I love that I have this, that you share anything, a glimps into what you do and who you are. And aside from my own feelings, clearly you are one of few true humanitarians. Your care ?? for what people may think of you, never outweighs your care for humanity, and I love that.

  15. I appreciate the way you respond to misleading and false information concerning situations in your life.
    You never back up and try to dodge an issue… therefore you are very believable as far as I am concerned …..from Vietnam to this story about your foundation giving.
    You are very straight forward Ms Fonda and as we say down here in Texas, “you grabbed the bull by the horns” and set the record straight.
    Thank you for all you do to help people and please continue to do all you can for as many as you can for as long as you can.
    Have a blessed Christmas…
    Joe Ross
    Fort Worth

  16. Hi Jane –
    One thing I do not see in your response is the VALUE of all of the time you’ve spent – add that in with your monetary gifts. From the time I first saw you at the L.A. Press Club with Tom in the early 70s – you could have been on a movie set making money – but choose to donate your time.
    Love ya!

  17. Jane, everything you do, you do with so much honesty and transparency. You are one of the most commited persons I ever heard of.

    But as Jason says, thanks to the internet you do not have to buy this nonsense they write about you.

    Have great holidays and a blessed 2014 with all your loved ones,
    With my deepests regards,
    Nancy

  18. I read the “Smoking Gun” article. This is one of those situations that you are right to respond and set the record straight.
    There will always be this kind of misleading information. If you haven’t already, don’t bother to read the responses. I have a good little book called “The Four Agreements”…(that I need to re-read now and then.) The 4 chapters: “Be Impeccable With Your Word”- “Don’t Take Anything Personally” -“Don’t Make Assumptions”- ” And Always Do Your Best (no more and no less). “You are here to live, to be happy, and to love.”
    How you lead your life counts. You meet the criteria.
    Have a wonderful Xmas! And a Happy New Year-:)
    Bonnie

  19. I am deeply disappointed in The Smoking Gun. You’d think they would have done their homework.

    I’ve been a fan of all you do for ages, including your philanthropic endeavors. You truly are an inspiration!

  20. Hello Jane:

    On the one hand, I’m glad you responded to The Smoking Gun, but on the other hand, The Smoking Gun doesn’t deserve a classy response (personally, I can’t stand that website – but that’s just me). You go, Jane…….

  21. Dont let the bas***ds grind you down its all envy.

    Damian

  22. Why my “comment” from December 21, is still on hold(for moderation) and others after that, are posted?As a N.1 Jane´s Fan from Brazil I don´t deserve it at all….Very sad….

    • YONNEGLER, SO SORRY. IT WAS PROBABLY A MISTAKE. CAN YOU RESEND. NOT SURE WHAT IT WAS ABOUT OR WHY I PUT IT ON HOLD. HAPPY NEW YEAR. XXX JANE

  23. REPOST: December 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Because as a trully fan, I follow everything related to you,even before this Blog, I know about your Foudations,and I don´t need The “Smoking gun” to tell me anything about it!(I know “Smoking Gun” since early 90´s in the “Free Press”, a weekly “free” Paper in the streets of NYC,that was a huge succes then, until it was sold out,and became “boring”).You,as Ava says, has been an inspiration for woman all over the world, not only in USA!I think the first time I heard about the “Jane Fonda Center”, was on “OPRAH”,when I was still living in New York City. Am I right?
    I wish you and your entire family a very happy Christmas and a Wonderfull New Year.From Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with love.

  24. I unsuccessfully tried to delete my previous comment. My assumption was hasty and my response was thoughtless.
    Please delete my previous comment. Thank you.

  25. One of the most important things I’ve learned in recent years is that you NEVER quantify or qualify anyone’s generosity.

    You merely and genuinely just say “thank you”.

    It’s no one’s place to say whether someone else’s generosity is “enough” or “appropriate”, because there’s really no such thing when it comes to giving.

    I want to share a story with you.

    Love my Mom. We had a heart-to-heart a couple of weeks ago. Talked about a lot of important stuff. One of the subjects was how I felt about people that quantify or qualify someone else’s love or generosity. I just feel that whenever someone expresses love or generosity, you should be genuinely thankful and never attempt to say whether it’s enough or “good enough”. Everyone has a different capacity, and different expression that is unique from your own, so having any set of “standards” when it comes to this I feel can just create nothing but grief.

    Anyway, out of that conversation came the topic of the homeless people that stand on the freeway off ramps with their cardboard signs. My heart goes out to them, and sometimes I think “what if that was me?” There’s another part of me that thinks “are they just going to use this money for drugs or alcohol?”

    I told that to my Mom, and her response was “Does it matter?” I asked her what she meant. She replied: “Does it change your act of wanting to help? Why should it be conditional?” and then gave me that look that I’ve seen so many times before that screams “You know I’m right”

    Just when I’m so proud of having walked the planet for so many years and thinking I’m Mr. Smarty-Pants, my 86-year old Mom once again comes and “Oops me upside the head”.

    Yet another life-lesson learned……

  26. Sometimes we have to stand our truth even when it seems like it would be more ‘seemly’ to stay quiet. Thanks for this Jane – you put your works ahead of your self and defended them. And you will be known by them.

  27. An inspiration is the right word. Jane if you were given the mission to help the planet quantum leap Into Divine enlightenment would you accept? How would you do it? and you can use all your resources. What are our choices really? We can choose to continue The dark road we are going down or shift everything in the final and greatest revolution the earth wlil see. And that is the revolution of enlightenment. It’s our destiny 25,000 yrs of peace (Hopi prophesy). I think we can do this in 3 months or less IF people gave it there full attention. When this happens wars are over as well as the sick reptilian psychopaths running the world. Here is a little light work with humor that I did with Roseann Barr. It’s the quantum leap the world into enlightenment prayer…what we can/are becomming……Enjoy…U-tube video I did with Roseanne Barr. where I read the Quantum leap prayer
    It’s funny so watch it the first time..laugh..and when you are done laughing and in a very high state..Take a deep breath start the video over, close your eyes and give the prayer energy.
    Roseanne’s Friend Cathy Bilsky
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQQfTu9EzVk
    Peace.

  28. Thank you, Jane, for explaining. I am a bit sad on your behalf that you were placed in a position in which you felt it was necessary. On the other hand, it makes me happy to see your heart so very open on behalf of teens (my teen years were miserable, and I was a teen mom). I have just now discovered your web site and, since I only knew you before as a gorgeous and talented actress, I find that I am thoroughly enjoying learning more about you and “what you are about” though these great posts!

    With regard to what I’ve learned from this post, I am grateful on behalf of all of the teens who are currently benefiting from the gifts of your Heart.

    With respect,
    Rev. Sandra Daly

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