‘Romeo and Juliet’ stars sue studio for $500 million over 1968 teen nudity scene

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LOS ANGELES – The 2 stars of the 1968 movie “Romeo and Juliet” sued Paramount Photos on Tuesday for greater than $500 million over a nude scene within the movie once they have been youngsters.

Olivia Hussey, then 15, now 71, and Leonard Whiting, then 16, now 72, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Courtroom alleging sexual assault, sexual harassment and fraud.

Director Franco Zeffirelli, who died in 2019, initially advised the 2 that they might put on flesh-colored underwear within the bed room scene, which was shot within the ultimate days of filming, the lawsuit stated.

However on the morning of the shoot, Zeffirelli advised Whiting, who performed Romeo, and Hussey, who performed Juliet, that they might put on solely physique make-up, whereas assuring them that the digicam could be positioned in order to not present nudity. the go well with.

Nonetheless, they have been filmed bare with out their data, in violation of California and federal legal guidelines in opposition to obscenity and youngster exploitation, the lawsuit alleges.

Zeffirelli advised them they needed to go nude “or the image would fail” and their careers could be broken, the lawsuit alleges. The actors “felt they’d no alternative however to carry out bare with physique make-up as required”.

In the course of the scene, Whiting’s naked backside and Hussey’s naked chest are briefly proven.

The movie and its theme tune have been enormous hits on the time and have been proven to generations of highschool college students finding out Shakespeare’s play.

The lawsuit alleges that Hussey and Whiting suffered a long time of emotional injury and psychological anguish, and that every had careers that didn’t replicate the movie’s success.

It says the actors are entitled to greater than $500 million in damages for struggling and earnings after the movie’s launch.

An e mail searching for remark from representatives of Paramount was not instantly returned.

The go well with was filed underneath a California legislation that briefly suspends the statute of limitations for youngster sexual abuse, which has led to quite a few new lawsuits and the revival of many others that have been beforehand dismissed.

Hussey defended the scene in a 2018 interview with Selection, which first reported the lawsuit on the movie’s fiftieth anniversary.

“No person my age had carried out it earlier than,” he stated, including that Zeffirelli shot it tastefully. “It was essential for the movie.”

The Related Press sometimes doesn’t title individuals who say they have been sexually assaulted except they arrive ahead, as Hussey and Whiting did.



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