Vietnam protester spits in Jane Fonda's face. The man, who says he is a Vietnam vet, waited 90 minutes to confront the actress at a book signing and was arrested for disorderly conduct

By Gary Susman
Updated April 21, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

My Life So Far

  • Book

Jane Fonda has apologized many times for posing with a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun during her notorious 1972 trip to Hanoi, including in the pages of her new memoir, My Life So Far, but some people will probably never forgive her for what they perceive as an act of aid and comfort to the enemy. One of those still angry is Michael A. Smith, who waited for 90 minutes at Fonda’s book signing Tuesday in Kansas City just so that he could spit tobacco juice in her face. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, Kansas City police told the Associated Press.

Smith, who said he is a Vietnam veteran, told the Kansas City Star that he’s not a tobacco chewer but took it up on Tuesday just to spit at the actress during her appearance at Unity Temple. ”I consider it a debt of honor,” he told the Star. ”She spit in our faces for 37 years. It was absolutely worth it. There are a lot of veterans who would love to do what I did.”

Fonda was unrattled by the incident and, once the tobacco juice was wiped off, she continued to sign books without even getting up from her seat, according to the bookstore owner who sponsored the event. ”She was so calm and so gracious about it,” Rainy Day Books owner Vivian Jennings told AP. For her part, Fonda issued a statement Wednesday, saying, ”In spite of the incident, my experience in Kansas City was wonderful and I thank all the warm and supportive people, including so many veterans, who came to welcome me last night.” She declined to press charges against Smith, but AP reports that he still faces a court date on May 27.

Episode Recaps

My Life So Far

  • Book
  • Jane Fonda
  • Random House