Fonda Recounted Ted Turner's Atheism and Boasting of Communist Friends
There are a few other more personal notes in the Barbara Walters interview with Jane Fonda on PBS. Ted Turner's first words on his first date with Fonda are a little bizarre: "We got in the car. His first words to me was, ‘some of my best friends are communists. I’m thinking, ‘did he say that because he thinks I’m a communist, and it won’t get in the way’?" He named Gorbachev and Castro as his close friends.
Walters told Fonda "We all though that was a marriage that was pretty special." She asked "What broke it up? The rumor was that you became spiritual. You found religion. He didn’t like that." She also mentioned that Turner had adulterous relationships.
Fonda agreed that religion became a problem: "I did it while I was married to him and I didn’t tell him, which is not playing fair actually. But by then, we weren’t on the same team, basically. I felt myself being drawn to faith, very strongly, very viscerally, and Ted was the champion of the debate team at Brown. And I knew that if I talked to him about it, he who was an atheist, he would talk me out of it. And I was so raw and so new with this faith that I didn’t want to expose myself to that. So he found out and got upset, as well he should have. It was not a good thing for me to have done."
Walters: "Is it still very important to you?"
Fonda: "It is. I’m in theology classes in Atlanta, and I’m trying to...I was raised an atheist myself, so I have a lot of catching up to do, to find out what does this mean? So I’m studying theology, the history of religion, the history of the Bible."
Walters: "Do you go to church?"
Fonda: "I do sometimes. I’ve been traveling too much in the last year."