Jane Fonda found out her mother died from suicide from a movie magazine.

The 'Monster-in-Law' star thought her mum Frances Ford Seymour had passed away from a heart attack when she was 12 years old as that's what her father Henry Fonda had told her at the time, but it wasn't until she decided to write her memoir 'My Life So Far' in 2005 that she found out that she'd actually taken her own life in a mental institution as a result of her battle with bipolar disorder.

Speaking to People.com, the 80-year-old actress - who was able to access Frances' medical records after her death - said: ''When I wrote my memoir, I dedicated it to my mother because I knew that if I did...I would be forced to really try to figure her out. I never knew her because she suffered from bipolarity.

''When you go through that kind of research...if you can come to answers, which I was able to do, you end up being able to say, 'It had nothing to do with me.'

''It wasn't that I wasn't loveable. They had issues. And the minute you know that, you can feel tremendous empathy for them. And you can forgive.''

However, although she no longer blames herself for her mother's behaviour in the run-up to her death, Jane has been forever affected by the way she was treated.

She explained: ''If you have a parent who is not capable of showing up, not capable of reflecting you back through eyes of love, it has a big impact on your sense of self. As a child, you always think it was your fault...because the child can't blame the adult, because they depend on the adult for survival.

''It takes a long time to get over the guilt.''