04/21/2005 AT 10:00 AM ET
A man spat tobacco juice into the face of actress Jane Fonda after waiting in line to have her sign her new book, according to Kansas City police.
According to police the alleged spitter, Michael A. Smith, ran off after the incident but was apprehended and charged with disorderly conduct. Smith, a Vietnam veteran, told The Kansas City Star that he considers Fonda a “traitor” and said that her protests against the Vietnam war were unforgivable.
“There are a lot of veterans who would love to do what I did,” the Star quoted Smith as saying.
Fonda, 67, who is on tour promoting her newly released autobiography My Life So Far, preferred not to press charges. In her book, the actress writes about her position as a polarizing figure for many Vietnam veterans who were angered by her 1972 trip to Hanoi to oppose the war. During that trip she was photographed laughing as she sat on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft tank.
Said Fonda in a statement afterwards: “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.”