Nearly 55 years after Franco Zeffirelli’s Oscar-nominated adaptation Romeo and Juliet Turns out, the film’s then-young stars are now suing Paramount Pictures for more than $100 million for alleged sexual abuse, negligence and more.
The filing from Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting states, “Defendants dishonestly and surreptitiously filmed nude or partially nude minor children without their knowledge, in violation of state and federal laws on child sexual abuse and child sexual abuse.” controls exploitation. The suit (read it here) over the Best Picture Oscar-nominated movie based on William Shakespeare’s classic Doomed Lover’s Tale states, “Plaintiffs have suffered extreme and severe mental anguish and emotional distress, along with physical pain and mental suffering.” is and will continue to be.” on saying.
In their own Shakespearean play and estimating that the studio earned more than $500 million from the Zeffirelli adaptation, Hussey and Whiting are seeking punitive and exemplary damages of more than $100 million. With Encino CA-based attorney Solomon Graysen handling their case, the pair are also looking for “compensatory, economic and non-economic damages as evidenced, with disgorgement of economic benefits to Paramount.”
Confusing the date of December 1967 for 1968, the year the film was released, December 30, 2022. Filing details:
At the time of filming, Mr. Whiting (Romeo) was a minor child aged 16 and Ms. Hussey was also a minor child aged 15. Plaintiff was told by Mr. Zeffirelli that no nudity would be filmed or displayed and that Plaintiff would be wearing flesh-colored undergarments during the bedroom/love scene. However, on the morning of the shooting of the bedroom scene in the second week of December 1968, the last days of minor children’s photography, the plaintiff was given body make-up and told by Mr. Zeffirelli that she must act nude or the picture would fail. Will go Crores were invested. They’ll never work in any profession again, let alone Hollywood. Zeffirelli showed that the cameras would be set so that no nudity would be filmed or photographed for use Romeo and Juliet or somewhere else. Plaintiffs believed that they had no choice but to act nude with body makeup as demanded in the final days of filming.
Paramount did not respond to a request for comment by Deadline on the seven-claims lawsuit.
The subject of sexual assault and sexual harassment claims in the past, Zeffirelli died in 2019 and is therefore not a defendant in this action.
causing a stir at the time for nudity in the film, Romeo and Juliet It was a box office bomb when it released in March 1968. Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, the film took home trophies for Best Cinematography and Costume Design. Whiting and Hussey both won Golden Globes for their performances.
As recently as 2018, Hussey spoke about the need for nudity in the film. In the midst of promotion for her then-published memoir, she told Fox News that the nudity “wasn’t a big deal.” Jesus of Nazareth The veteran also noted in another interview that same year that although he and Whiting were young, they were both theater vets and “we were very aware.”
Apparently, he and Whiting now take a different view on the issue.
The duo’s manager, Tony Marinozzi, told Deadline of the suit today, “It took a lot of courage for both Olivia and Leonard to address the sexploitation/sexualization (of minors), and that unfortunately is still rampant in our society today.” “The #MeToo movement and other similar support groups have provided a platform to hold Olivia and Leonard accountable for these abuses.”
Marinozzi has been 71-year-old Hussey’s manager since October 2020, and will be working with 72-year-old Whiting until February 2022.
The filing late last week in Los Angeles Superior Court came just hours before the December 31 expiration of a nearly three-year extension of California’s removal of the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims against children.