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Stars of 1968's 'Romeo And Juliet' Sue Paramount Over Child Abuse In Nude Film Scene
Stars of 1968's 'Romeo And Juliet' Sue Paramount Over Child Abuse In Nude Film Scene
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Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting – who were 15 and 16 at the time of the filming – filed a $500 million lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging they were filmed in the nude without their knowledge, according to the Associated Press.

The stars of the 1968 film adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet" have filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, accusing them of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and fraud over a nude scene.

The film's star, who was 15 years old at the time, and her co-star are suing for more than $500 million, according to the AP. The teens were filmed in the nude without their knowledge and in violation of California and federal laws against indecency and exploitation of children.

The actors say Franco Zeffirelli told them they would be wearing flesh-colored undergarments in the bedroom scene. The lawsuit states that Zeffirelli told the two actors that the camera would be positioned in a way to not show nudity, and that they would wear body makeup on the day of the shoot. During the scene, there were bare breasts and bare buttocks.

RELATED: Leonard Lake is a serial killer. . She thought he was living a very active fantasy.

According to Variety, the actors were told by Zeffirelli that the picture would fail if they didn't perform nude.

Tony Marinozzi, a business manager for both actors, told Variety that what they were told and what happened were two different things. They trusted Franco. As actors, they took his lead that he wouldn't violate their trust. At 16, what do they do? There are no options. There was no #metoo.

The actors are entitled to more than $500 million in damages because they have suffered emotional damage and mental anguish for decades, according to the lawsuit. The actors lost out on job opportunities according to the lawsuit.

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In an interview with Variety, Solomon Gresen said that nude images of children should not be displayed. The naive children of the ’60s had no idea what was about to hit them. They were violated in a way they didn't know how to deal with, and all of a sudden they were famous at a level they never expected.

Variety spoke about the movie's 50th anniversary in an article, but Hussey defended the nudity to Variety at the time.

The director shot it "tastefully" and it was needed for the film, according to the man.

The nudity was more taboo in America than in Europe.

She told Fox News that she got a lot of publicity because she was 16. The large crew we worked with only had a few basic people. It was done later in the day. It was not open.

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She worked with the director on "Romeo and Juliet" and went on to work with him again in a number of films.

It was an amazing experience, according to Hussey. I used to tell Franco I didn't want to work with anyone but him. You understand me so I can do anything for you. I would have worked with Franco if I could have.

The statute of limitations for child sex abuse in California was suspended for three years under a new law. The statute of limitations for reporting childhood sexual assault was extended from the age of 26 to 40. The deadline to file was December 31st.

The Los Angeles Times reports that more than 2,000 lawsuits have been filed against the Catholic Church. The lawsuits date back to the 1940s.

The Supreme Court declined to review the case in June, but Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez was part of a group that argued the law was unconstitutional.

References:

1. filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures

2. RELATED: Serial Killer Leonard Lake’s Wife Said She Thought He Was ‘Living This Very Active Fantasy’

3. picture would fail

4. “it was needed for the film.”

5. nudity was more taboo in America

6. suspended the statute of limitations for three years for child sex abuse

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