‘Romeo and Juliet’ stars sue Paramount for youngster abuse over 1968 nude scene

‘Romeo and Juliet’ stars sue Paramount for youngster abuse over 1968 nude scene
‘Romeo and Juliet’ stars sue Paramount for youngster abuse over 1968 nude scene
Olivia Hussey (R) and Leonard Whiting, who starred within the 1968 movie “Romeo and Juliet,” are suing Paramount Photos for $500 million claiming they have been sexually exploited as minors. File photograph by Chris Chew/UPI | License Photograph

Jan. 4 (UPI) — The teenager stars of Romeo and Juliet are suing Paramount Photos for $500 million for sexual abuse, greater than 50 years after the movie was launched.

Actors Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, who have been 15 and 16-years-old when the movie was produced in 1968, declare director Franco Zeffirelli “secretly” filmed them nude or partially nude, regardless of assurances there could be no nudity within the movie, in response to courtroom paperwork.

Hussey, 71, performed Juliet and Whiting, 72, performed Romeo within the Academy award-winning adaptation. Within the lawsuit, filed final week in Los Angeles County Superior Court docket, the actors accuse Paramount of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, distributing nude photos of adolescent youngsters and fraud.

Hussey and Whiting are in search of punitive damages of $100 million, however may obtain damages of greater than $500 million to match what the movie has earned since 1968, in response to the actors’ legal professional Solomon Gresen.

“Paramount continues to show and revenue from these photos of nude minor youngsters,” stated Gresen. “They absolutely know higher. Time must be up.”

Paramount has not made a press release. Zeffirelli died in 2019 and isn’t named as a defendant within the go well with.

In keeping with the lawsuit, the actors have been instructed they might put on solely physique make-up and that the digital camera could be positioned to not present any nudity. Within the movie, one scene reveals Whiting’s buttocks and Hussey’s naked breasts.

Each actors allege the scene was in violation of California and federal legal guidelines towards indecency and the exploitation of kids and stated they “believed they’d no alternative however to behave within the nude, in physique make-up, as demanded.”

The actors declare the scene has triggered them psychological anguish and value them jobs for the reason that movie’s launch 55 years in the past.

California quickly suspended the statute of limitations for older claims of kid sexual abuse, which expired on the finish of 2022. Hussey and Whiting’s lawsuit was filed on Dec. 30.

“What they have been instructed and what went on have been two various things,” Tony Marinozzi, a enterprise supervisor for each actors, instructed Selection.

“They trusted Franco. At 16, as actors, they took his lead that he wouldn’t violate that belief they’d. Franco was their buddy, and albeit, at 16, what do they do? There are not any choices. There was no #MeToo.”