While record producer Richard Perry didn’t produce Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man, ” Jane Fonda is likely humming it to herself, although for her it may mean telling her man where to stand. And to eat healthy foods. And to do yoga. All very sensible things for anyone, but especially sound advice for someone with a degenerative disease like Parkinson’s.
Perry, a legendary music producer whose hits include Carly Simon’s “You’re so Vain, ” and has also worked with Rod Stewart, Art Garfunkel and Ringo Starr, has been battling the disease for ten years. He began dating Jane Fonda in 2009. Fonda, who most likely feels she is no rougher on her partner than herself, admitted that she threatened to leave Perry if he “didn’t take his disease seriously, ” according to the Daily Mail. She said “If you don’t become an expert in it (Parkinson’s) so you know what your options are, I’m not sticking around.” Fonda added she was amazed he had an incurable disease, “I knew it was a disease with no cure, but he just seemed so strong.”
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Jane wasn’t just going to sit around and issue ultimatums. In addition to have him follow her very special routine, that includes fruits and vegetables, very few carbs, aerobics, walking and yoga, she became his very own expert on his condition through her very special blog on the topic on how she is coping with it all. Just as we commiserated with her almost as much as with Oscar winner John Voight’s character in Coming Home about a disabled Vietnam vet who finds love in the arms of the woman who cares for him, so we are supposed to commend her on a courageous struggle with an incurable illness suffered by the person closest to her. About which she became an expert. Overnight. Through writing her blog about her experience living with and loving a Parkinson’s sufferer.
Fonda is re-issuing her 1980s aerobics videos with some additions on her regime. Maybe that is why she can still look fabulous in a pant suit at 77, although the stress and strain of everything she has to deal with does take its toll. First of all, she suffers severe annoyance because Perry insists on using humor to cope with his condition, as well as optimism, “He tends to laugh when confronted with challenges, ” she complained to the Daily Mail, “He also said he would lick Parkinson’s. I said to myself, ‘No he won’t. There won’t be a cure in his lifetime.”
She also revealed something to the Mail that she didn’t want to burden Richard with. Her own suffering. “I’ve been sick a lot. I have a weak immune system and have had numerous surgeries.” Wait, she doesn’t mind burdening him–she adds, “He brings me meals in bed and ministers to my every need when I’m sick.” Imagine. Even with the tremors and loss of balance caused by his condition, he can still nurse Jane while she sits in bed with a laptop and taps out her blog about how difficult it is to live with someone who has Parkinson’s.