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Fonda: Jackson bought Neverland after visiting my ranch

By Katie McLaughlin, CNN
updated 4:38 PM EST, Thu December 8, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jane Fonda on her father: If there had been Prozac, our lives would have been different
  • Fonda on Ted Turner: "I'm so proud of him. He's done so much good work in the world"
  • She hopes Barack Obama gets re-elected
  • Fonda on GOP candidates: "I get depressed and scared when I look at the Republican debates"

Watch the full interview with Jane Fonda on Thursday night. "Piers Morgan Tonight" airs weeknights on CNN at 9 ET.

(CNN) -- Jane Fonda told Piers Morgan that Michael Jackson's 1981 visit to her California ranch inspired him to purchase what was to become Neverland Ranch.

The actress and author of the new book "Prime Time" -- which is about the last third of life -- is a guest on tonight's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

"I had a ranch in Santa Barbara," said Fonda. "And he came and visited me once. And I was walking him around. It's how he was introduced to that area -- where he eventually bought Neverland -- is when I had him to my ranch."

The King of Pop, who was in his early 20s at the time, spent a week on the set of "On Golden Pond."

"He came and he wanted to watch my father and Katharine Hepburn work," said Fonda. "He was interested in becoming a movie actor."

Fonda also recalled pointing out to Jackson the spot on the ranch's grounds where she intended to be buried.

"I thought he was going to have a meltdown," Fonda stated. "The notion that I could countenance the fact that I was going to die was anathema to him. He just -- he screamed."

The actress recalled Jackson insisting that he was never going to die.

"He talked about how he would get into an oxygen tank and he thought that was going to keep him, you know, alive forever."

Fonda told Morgan that she doesn't like the notion that Jackson's 2009 death was a "Hollywood cliché," but that "it's hard to imagine that someone that was as tormented as he was, you know, could have sort of lived a long and peaceful and natural life."

Fonda and her father, Henry Fonda, co-starred in 1981's "On Golden Pond," for which they both won Oscars. The film also won Best Picture that year.

Jane Fonda on acting with her father

"I feel so blessed, Piers, to have been able to have that experience," said Fonda. "He died five months later. I bought the play. I made the movie, because I wanted to work with him. We knew he was dying."

The actress described her relationship with her father.

"He was a man of profound integrity," she said. "He was a good man. He had good values. He had problems in the relationship department. He had problems with emotions, which is interesting for an actor, a hard time expressing emotions and being around someone who was emotional. It was absolutely terrifying to him."

Fonda also noted that while her father was difficult, "he did the best he could; and I was able to tell him that before he died."

Fonda also stated that "if there had been Prozac then, I think probably our lives would have been very different."

The actress also said that she believes that what her father didn't communicate directly to her, he did through the films whose values he held dear, such as "Twelve Angry Men," "Young Abe Lincoln," "The Wrong Man," and "The Grapes of Wrath."

Fonda also told Morgan that she knows her dad would have been pleased to know that she married Ted Turner.

"I found out after my dad died that he was fascinated by Ted Turner," said Fonda. "Dad loved the news; and he told a reporter that once interviewed me that he thought that Ted Turner was the greatest guy in the world because he started CNN."

Turner and Fonda divorced in 2001.

"We had a great time for 10 years," said Fonda. "I am so happy that I got to spend 10 years with him. It ended when it was supposed to end and we're very, very close. I just talked to him today. I told him I was going to be on the show. And I'm so proud of him. He's done so much good work in the world."

Fonda told Morgan that the current crop of GOP candidates does not impress her.

"They all scare me, frankly," said Fonda. "I get depressed and scared when I look at the Republican debates."

The actress stated that she's "worried about anybody getting elected to office who says we have to do away with or privatize Social Security, we have to reduce health insurance; we have to not raise taxes."

Fonda is hoping that voters reelect Barack Obama, telling the CNN host, "I hope he gets re-elected. I wish that he would be stronger. I think he will be in his second term. I think he's going to be reelected. I think he's a good man, but I wish that he was tougher on the issues that I care about and that a lot of people care about."

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.

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