The celebrities of the 1968 movie “Romeo and Juliet” allege in a brand new lawsuit that they had been sexually assaulted, sexually harassed and defrauded over a nudity scene. in line with the information.
Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting had been beneath 18 once they shot Franco Zeffirelli’s blockbuster, which acquired a number of Oscar nominations, together with wins for finest cinematography and finest costume design.
The fictional star lovers, now of their 70s, have accused Paramount Photos of sexual exploitation and distribution of kid nudity. They’re looking for greater than $500 million in alleged damages.
Paramount didn’t instantly reply to The Put up’s request for remark.
Romeo and Juliet, an adaptation of the Shakespeare play of the identical identify, follows two younger, forbidden lovers from opposing households.
Based on the couple’s lawsuit, they had been allegedly promised there could be no nudity and solely modest flesh-colored clothes, however within the remaining days of filming, Zeffirelli reportedly urged them to do a scene with solely physique make-up. He allegedly threatened that “the picture will fail” in any other case. That is reported by Selection.
On the time of filming: Husi She was 15 and Whiting was 16. They declare they “suffered psychological anguish and emotional misery,” in line with Selection, and even misplaced job alternatives.
The statute of limitations on baby sexual abuse lawsuits has been briefly suspended in California 2020 change in state regulationbecause of which circumstances in opposition to varied organizations elevated and other people. Hussey and Whiting’s lawsuit arrived simply earlier than the Friday, Dec. 31 deadline.
Hussey and Whiting’s enterprise supervisor, Tony Marinozzi, advised Selection that the actors had been misled by Zeffirelli, who: died in 2019.
“What they had been advised and what occurred had been two various things,” he stated. “They trusted Franco. On the age of 16, as an actor, they took his steerage in order that he wouldn’t violate the belief they’d. Franco was their good friend, and truthfully, what do 16-year-olds do? There aren’t any choices. There was no #MeToo.”
Their lawyer, Solomon Gressen, stated that such pictures of minors “are unlawful and shouldn’t be proven”.
“These had been very younger naive children within the ’60s who did not perceive what was about to hit them,” he advised Selection. “Immediately they grew to become in style on a stage they by no means anticipated, and on prime of that they had been bullied in a manner they did not know methods to deal with.”
In earlier interviews, Hussey has defended nudity, together with a 2018 interview with Selection the place he justified Zeffirelli’s directorial imaginative and prescient, as soon as referred to as “taboo“.
“No person my age had achieved it earlier than,” he stated. “It was obligatory for the movie.”