‘Romeo and Juliet’ stars sue for sexual abuse over nudity

The celebrities of the 1968 film “Romeo & Juliet” have submitted a lawsuit in Los Angeles County accusing Paramount Footage of sexually abusing them by filming their nude our bodies with out their data after they have been kids.

Leonard Whiting, who performed Romeo Montague when he was 16, and Olivia Hussey, who performed Juliet Capulet when she was 15, are suing the studio large for sexual harassment, negligence, intentional tort, fraud, appropriation of title and likeness, intentional infliction of emotional misery, unfair enterprise practices, and little one sexual abuse. The lawsuit, submitted Friday, has but to be formally filed in L.A. Superior Court docket.

Directed by Italian filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli, the 1968 adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” incorporates a controversial bed room scene through which Whiting’s naked buttocks and Hussey’s naked breasts are seen.

Per court docket paperwork reviewed by The Occasions, the onscreen lovers declare they have been coerced into filming the sequence nude after Zeffirelli initially assured them that “there would be no nudity filmed or exhibited, and that [they] would be wearing flesh colored undergarments during the bedroom/love scene.”

Whiting and Hussey allege that, on the morning of the bed room shoot, Zeffirelli instructed them that “they must act in the nude or the Picture would fail” — including that “millions were invested” within the mission and that “they would never work again in any profession, let alone Hollywood” in the event that they didn’t comply. The kid actors have been allegedly lined with nude physique make-up and “believed they had no choice but to act in the nude … as demanded.”

The criticism additionally notes that Zeffirelli, who died at age 96 in 2019, allegedly confirmed Whiting and Hussey “where the cameras would be set so that no nudity would be filmed or photographed for use in Romeo & Juliet or anywhere else.” The co-stars argue that the studio both knew or “should have known” that photos of their nude our bodies “were secretly and unlawfully obtained … for later use by Paramount and others.”

On account of Zeffirelli and Paramount’s alleged transgressions, Whiting and Hussey say they’ve suffered bodily ache, extreme psychological anguish and emotional misery, in addition to “a lifetime loss” of earnings, employment advantages and job alternatives. They’re in search of basic, compensatory and punitive financial and noneconomic damages “believed to be in excess” of $500 million.

“Paramount … authorized, condoned and/or ratified the unlawful conduct by … repackaging what is essentially pornography and evidence of a crime and then reselling that poisonous product for profit over the objections of Mr. Whiting and Ms. Hussey since 1968,” the lawsuit alleges.

“The knowing and repeated use of sexual images of minor children is the worst of behaviors in our society and must be eradicated.”

“Romeo & Juliet” obtained Academy Award nominations in 1969 for cinematography, costume design, director and greatest image. It gained for cinematography and costume design.

A consultant for Paramount didn’t instantly reply Tuesday to The Occasions’ request for remark.