January 30, 2023

Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, who as youngsters introduced Shakespeare to life in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 movie Romeo and Juliet, are suing Paramount for little one abuse over the film’s nudity. As Selection experiences, they’re in search of damages “believed to be in extra of $500 million.”

Whiting was 16 when he appeared within the film, and Hussey started at 15 however turned 16 throughout manufacturing. For the well-known, “It was the nightingale, and never the lark,” scene, Zeffirelli, who died in 2019, filmed Whiting’s butt and Hussey’s naked breasts. Now of their 70s, the actors allege that that they had been assured there could be no nudity, solely to be pressured the day of the shoot to reveal themselves “or the Image would fail.”

“What they have been instructed and what went on have been two various things,” mentioned Tony Marinozzi, the enterprise supervisor for each actors. “They trusted Franco. At 16, as actors, they took his lead that he wouldn’t violate that belief that they had. Franco was their buddy, and admittedly, at 16, what do they do? There aren’t any choices. There was no #MeToo.”

The lawsuit depends on a latest California invoice which quickly opened up the statute of limitations for older little one sexual abuse claims. Based on their lawyer Solomon Inexperienced, “Nude photographs of minors are illegal and shouldn’t be exhibited. These have been very younger naive kids within the ’60s who had no understanding of what was about to hit them. Hastily they have been well-known at a stage they by no means anticipated, and as well as they have been violated in a method they didn’t know cope with.”

As lately as 2018, Hussey had defended the nudity in Romeo and Juliet. In an interview with Selection, she mentioned, “No person my age had carried out that earlier than,” calling the scene tasteful and “wanted for the movie.”

She added, “It wasn’t that large of a deal. And Leonard wasn’t shy in any respect! In the midst of taking pictures, I simply fully forgot I didn’t have garments on.” She additionally described Zeffirelli as a “genius. He simply introduced issues to life. That’s what I liked about Franco. He employed all the time essentially the most good individual to do the function, which ever function it was. After which he let that actor do what they felt.”

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