‘Romeo and Juliet’ child actors, now in their 70s, sue studio over nudity
The actors who played lovers Romeo and Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film are suing Paramount Pictures for child abuse over their brief nudity, their lawyers said Tuesday.
Olivia Hussey was 15 and Leonard Whiting was 16 when they starred in the Oscar-winning version of William Shakespeare’s tragedy.
The actors, now in their 70s, claim in a lawsuit filed in Santa Monica last week that a bedroom scene was sexually exploited by Paramount studios, and that the company was guilty of distributing nudity. of teenagers.
The lawsuit alleges that Zeffirelli – who passed away in 2019 – lured them to do the scene, telling them that without the scene “the photograph would have failed”, because initially insisting there would be no nude scene. real body, with both actors wearing flesh-colored underwear.
“The defendants dishonestly and secretly filmed naked or partially nude minors without their knowledge, in violation of state and federal laws governing indecent conduct and child exploitation. minors for profit,” the lawsuit states.
The complaint, which claims hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, states that the two actors have endured mental distress and emotional distress in the five and a half decades since the film’s release, and both have had only limited professional success in the film. awaken.
Both won Golden Globes for their performances.
Solomon Gresen, representing the actors, told AFP that the many years that have passed since the film was made have not lessened the damage it has done, especially since it has been re-released since. there.
“(Paramount) has images that they know are nude images of minors that should be removed from the film. That would certainly be the start,” he said.
“Children’s pornographic images are bad and they should not be tolerated.
“If they’re under 16, they’re under 16. That’s underage pornography, it should be banned.”
December 31 is the last day for historical child sex abuse lawsuits to be filed in California under the temporary waiver of statutes of limitations.
A series of claims have been made during the waiver period, including one last week by a woman who said she was the teenage mistress of Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler in the 1970s.
There was no immediate response from Paramount to AFP’s request for comment.
Variety reports that in her 2018 interview with Hussey, she defended the nude scene she insists Zeffirelli elegantly performed.
“It was necessary for the movie,” she told the outlet at the time.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the aggregate feed.)
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