BBC has reported that Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, the actors who portrayed the main characters in the 1968 film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, are initiating legal action against Paramount Pictures due to their intimate scene that exposed the young actors at that time.
The performers from the 1968 rendition of the Shakespeare production are initiating a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures for a sum exceeding $500 million (£414 million).
The lawsuit claims that Paramount, when the actors Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting were 16 years old, distributed inappropriate images of adolescent children and subjected them to sexual exploitation, according to Variety.
“As per the stars’ claims, director Franco Zeffirelli allegedly requested on the day of filming that the picture should fail if they wore anything other than body make-up or flesh-colored underwear.”
Over the course of the next five decades, actors have pointed out the emotional distress and mental anguish caused by missed job opportunities and the consequences of role typecasting.
According to The Guardian, the lawsuit states that the teenagers purportedly believed they had no alternative but to adhere to the requests when they turned 16.
“These children were very naive and had no understanding of what was about to hit them,” explained their attorney, Solomon Gresen. “They never expected to be violated in addition to not knowing how to deal with the situation, and suddenly they were famous at a whole new level.”
Displayed are Leonard’s exposed buttocks, while her chest is briefly revealed, yet spectators of the wedding scene will acknowledge that the camera was strategically placed to prevent any indecent exposure, Olivia was thoroughly convinced.
Santa Monica Superior Court filed a lawsuit under the temporary suspension of California law that claims the statute of limitations for child exploitation cases was older.
GRV Media and HITC have contacted Paramount Pictures for a statement.
Olivia remembers Leonard as a “show-off” during the wedding scene in 2008.
Throughout a 45-minute interview session, Olivia reflected on her encounters as a youthful actress in the delicate wedding scene.
She alleged that she was asked whether it was compulsory for her to completely undress before she was told to commence filming. According to Hussey, the clip was taken towards the end of the entire movie’s filming period.
She remembered, “We had all formed a close-knit family. It was executed with great elegance. The crew, aware of our youthfulness, would avert their gazes and face the opposite direction when they didn’t need to attend to us.”