The lead actors of 'Romeo and Juliet' have sued Paramount Pictures for over $500 million over their nude scenes in the film. The film came out in 1968, and both the actors claimed that they were minors when the scene was shot and their permission was not taken for the same.
Los Angeles (USA) – The film ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ which hit theaters 54 years ago, is once again in the news. The lead actors of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ have sued Paramount Pictures for over $500 million over their nude scenes in the film. The film came out in 1968, and both the actors claimed that they were minors when the scene was shot and their permission was not taken for the same.
Olivia Hussey (71) was then 15 years old, and Leonard Whiting (72) was then 16. The two have filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and fraud. The lawsuit alleged that the film’s director, Franco Zeffirelli, had previously told her they would wear flesh-colored lingerie in that bedroom scene. Its scene was shot in the last few days. On the morning of the shoot, Zeffirelli told Whiting, who played Neromio, and Hussey, who played Juliet, that they would only have makeup on their bodies and that the cameras would be positioned in such a way that their private parts would not be visible. Director Zeffirelli passed away in 2019.
The lawsuit stated that he was shot nude without his permission, violating California and federal laws against indecency and child exploitation. According to the case, Zeffirelli told her to shoot nude or “the film wouldn’t work,” which would affect her career. The cast felt “they had no choice but to shoot with full body makeup.” The private parts of both actors were partially shown in that scene of the film. The film was a super hit at that time. Court documents stated that Hussey and Whiting suffered decades of emotional and mental anguish. The artist is entitled to more than $500 million for this suffering, and the revenue earned so far from the film’s release.
An email was sent to the production company ‘Paramount Pictures’ seeking their response, but I am still waiting for an answer. Hussey defended this view in an interview with Variety magazine in 2018. That year the film was completed 50 years of its release. He said, ” Until that time no one had ever done this. He was essential to the film.” The Associated Press typically does not reveal the names of people who make allegations of sexual abuse until they come forward publicly, as Hussey and Whiting have.