LOS ANGELES (AP) — The 2 stars of 1968′s “Romeo and Juliet” sued Paramount Photos for greater than $500 million on Tuesday over a nude scene within the movie shot after they have been teenagers.
Olivia Hussey, then 15 and now 71, and Leonard Whiting, then 16 now 72, filed the swimsuit in Los Angeles County Awesome Court docket alleging sexual abuse, sexual harassment and fraud.
Director Franco Zeffirelli, who died in 2019, to start with informed the 2 that they might put on flesh-colored undergarments within the bed room scene that comes overdue within the film and was once shot at the ultimate days of filming, the swimsuit alleges.
However at the morning of the shoot, Zeffirelli informed Whiting, who performed Romeo, and Hussey, who performed Juliet, that they might put on handiest frame make-up, whilst nonetheless assuring them the digicam could be situated in some way that may no longer display nudity, in step with the swimsuit.
But they have been filmed within the nude with out their wisdom, in violation of California and federal rules towards indecency and the exploitation of youngsters, the swimsuit says.
Zeffirelli informed them they will have to act within the nude “or the Image would fail” and their careers could be harm, the swimsuit mentioned. The actors “believed they’d no selection however to behave within the nude in frame make-up as demanded.”
Whiting’s naked buttocks and Hussey’s naked breasts are in brief proven all over the scene.
The movie, and its theme music, have been primary hits on the time, and has been proven to generations of highschool scholars finding out the Shakespeare play since.
The court docket submitting says the Hussey and Whiting have suffered emotional harm and psychological anguish for many years, and that every had careers that didn’t mirror the good fortune of the film.
It says for the reason that struggling and the earnings introduced in through the movie since its liberate, the actors are entitled to damages of greater than $500 million.
An electronic mail in the hunt for remark from representatives of Paramount was once no longer straight away returned.
The lawsuit was once filed underneath a California legislation briefly postponing the statute of barriers for kid intercourse abuse, which has resulted in a number of latest court cases and the revival of many others that have been up to now disregarded.
Hussey defended the scene in a 2018 interview with Selection, which first reported the lawsuit, for the movie’s fiftieth anniversary.
“No one my age had finished that earlier than,” she mentioned, including that Zeffirelli shot it tastefully. “It was once wanted for the movie.”
The Related Press does no longer generally identify individuals who say they’ve been sexually abused except they arrive ahead publicly, as Hussey and Whiting have.
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