Sitting down with CNNMoney's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday, the Grace and Frankie star said she's "glad" the sexual harassment accusations are coming out and she's "so proud of those fellow actors that are speaking up."
"I know that it’s taken a long time. It’s a very, very, very, hard thing to do. You don’t get anything out of it as the person who has been victimized. But it’s important that it come out," Fonda said.
However, the 79-year-old actress said she "found out about Harvey about a year ago, and I'm ashamed that I didn't say anything right then."
When asked why she didn't speak out, Fonda said, "Because I guess it hadn’t happened to me and so I didn’t feel it was my place."
"One of the women who has spoken out, Rosanna Arquette, told me, and it came as a shock and a great disappointment," Fonda said.
Arquette recently opened up in a lengthy expose in The New Yorker, where the Pulp Fiction actress claimed she rejected Weinstein's advances in a hotel room in the early '90s. She said agreed to meet Weinstein for dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel to look at a new script, but was told to meet him upstairs in his hotel room.
She then claimed Weinstein opened the door wearing a bathrobe, and after telling her he needed a massage, grabbed her hand. She alleges that the incident escalated when, after yanking her hand away, the producer allegedly grabbed it again and pulled it towards his visibly erect penis.
"My heart was really racing. I was in a fight-or-flight moment,” Arquette said. The actress claimed that, after rejecting Weinstein's advances, "He made things very difficult for me for years."
Speaking with CNNMoney, Fonda also addressed claims that Weinstein's alleged behavior was "an open secret" in Hollywood. Fonda said she "didn't realize that" before a year ago, but feels that many people likely knew.
After decrying the prevalence of horrifying sexual harassment in both Hollywood and the world in general, she admitted that she too has been the target of unwanted advances in the past, but not by Weinstein.
Fonda said that when she was 20, a French director tried to get her to sleep with him after flying out to Los Angeles to meet with her about a role in one of his films. Fonda said she turned him down, but still ended up getting the role.
The actress added that she would encourage any woman who finds herself in a situation like that to turn it down, no matter what they are afraid of losing.
“You have to understand that you have control over your body and that you have to say no and you have to talk and tell when something like that happens," Fonda said. "If we all talked and told, then they would be too afraid to do it, I think. I hope."
"[He's] at the top of the ladder of a system of harassment, and belittling, and bullying, and interference, and what my mother would have referred to in the old days as 'pestering,'" Thompson said.
"This has been part of our world, women’s world, since time immemorial. So what we need to start talking about is the crisis in masculinity, the crisis of extreme masculinity, which is this sort of behavior, and the fact that it is not OK," she added.
Thompson also alleges that sexual harassment in Hollywood is widespread and that this could be a tipping point that might lead to change.
"Let's just say it's endemic… I’ve spent my twenties trying to get old men’s tongues out of my mouth because they just thought 'Well, she's up for it.' So I would imagine that that happens really very regularly, and so perhaps this is a moment when we can say to men and women: 'Open your eyes and open your mouths and say something.'"
“I spent my twenties trying to get old men’s tongues out of my mouth” – Emma Thompson on being a woman in Hollywood pic.twitter.com/5A52R3tC11