CLEVELAND, OHIO — On November 3, 1970, Hollywood actress and radical activist Jane Fonda got busted at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport for “drug smuggling.”
Fonda had just given an anti-war speech at a college in Canada and was detained by airport authorities while agents searched her luggage.Police reported that the movie star and outspoken critic of the U.S. government was carrying a sizable number of diet pills, tranquilizers, and Valium. Fonda maintains the tablets were actually vitamins, writing on her blog of the incident:
“They discovered a large bag containing little plastic envelopes marked (in red nail polish) ‘B’, ‘L’, ‘D’ — signifying breakfast, lunch and dinner — that contained the vitamins I took with each meal … I told them what they were but they said they were getting orders from the White House–that would be the Nixon White House … I was handcuffed and put in the Cleveland Jail, which is when the mug shot was taken. (I had just finished filming ‘Klute’ so, yes, it was the Klute haircut).”
In time, all the drug charges would be dropped, but Fonda had to be put through the system first.
Officers booked Fonda at the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, where she posed for a standard mug shot. But returning to the office the following day, Fonda allegedly kicked a police officer, which got her arrested a second time.For that mug shot, Fonda raised her fist in defiance, instantly creating iconic image of “radical chic.”
Jane Fonda has remained an ardent left-wing firebrand throughout her six-decade tenure in the spotlight, whether she’s acting in glamorous Tinseltown productions, traveling to war-torn Vietnam and embracing the Vietcong, reinventing herself as an exercise guru in the ’80s, marrying media mogul Ted Turner, or throwing shade at NBC host Megyn Kelly.
At present, Fonda peddles coffee mugs, bags, and other tchotchkes on her website that bear the image of her famous “fist” pic.
Main photo: Jane Fonda [Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department]