After more than 50 years .. a lawsuit against the producers of “Romeo and Juliet”

lawsuit against the producers of Romeo and Juliet

On Tuesday, the attorneys representing Romeo and Juliet actors from Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film version of Shakespeare’s beloved novel announced they were suing Paramount Pictures due to their unauthorized use in a work scene.

When the film production of Romeo and Juliet began, Olivia Hussey (15) and Leonard Whiting (16) were just teenagers. They astounded audiences with their acting prowess, which was recognized at the Golden Globe Awards where they earned a joint award for their stellar performance!

Recently, two elderly actors took legal action against Paramount Pictures for allegedly sexually exploiting them when they were minors in the making of a motion picture. The lawsuit filed in Santa Monica claimed that their bodies were subject to an intimate scene shot which was then depicted on-screen.

According to the lawsuit, which was reported by “Agence France Presse”, Italian director Franco Zeffirelli made it clear that his scene had to be shot in a manner that reflected skin color. If not, he guaranteed his work would fail. Fortunately due to the hardwork of many creatives involved in this project they managed to find clothing colors close enough that served as an accurate representation of what was desired.

The legal action charged the film’s creators of “deceit and surreptitiously capturing footage of minors in a state of partial or complete undress without their permission, thus violating regulations that protect juveniles from being sexually exploited.”

In a lawsuit filed by the two actors, they claimed that their anxiety and emotional distress had lasted for over five decades since the release of the movie. Consequently, they are seeking damages in sums totaling to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Solomon Greesen, the defense attorney for them, declared that they endured sustained harm over several years – especially after a new version of said movie had been released.

In an interview with Agence France Presse, he discussed that Paramount Pictures filmed sequences which showcased nude minors, and were aware they should be cut from the movie.

According to the renowned publication “Variety”, in 2018, Olivia Hussey confidently defended the scene when interviewed by Franco Zeffirelli and affirmed that it had been accurately depicted.

According to Hussey’s interview, the scene was absolutely crucial for the film.