romeo-juliet-sexual-harassment | Romeo and Juliet actors sue Paramount Pictures for sexual harassment | SHOWS

Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, the lead actors in the 1968 classic, Romeo and Juliet, they just sued Paramount Pictures for alleged sexual exploitation. The actors filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Santa Monica, California, where they accused the producer of sexual abuse, fraud and distribution of images of naked minors, since they guaranteed that they were filmed naked without their consent.

According to an article from Variety, both were underage when they were shooting the film, and the director, Franco Zeffirelli, had promised them that there would be no nude scene in the film, instead opting to wear skin-colored clothing. The director then changed his mind and decided to add a real scene to further engage audiences.

SIGHT: A young couple committed suicide like Romeo and Juliet because their families wouldn’t let them get married.

The scene the suit is based on is one where the characters appear in bed together. Whiting was 16 years old at the time, and he still showed his buttocks to the audience as soon as he got up. Hussey, meanwhile, showed her breasts for a few seconds. The director insisted on filming this scene under these conditions.

Tony Marinozzi, agent for both actors, explained to Variety that the director deceived them “They trusted Franco. At 16, as actors, they took his initiative that he would not violate that trust they had. Franco was his friend and, frankly, at 16, what do they do? There are no options. There was no #MeToo.”

Meanwhile, Solomon Gresen, lawyer for Hussey and Whiting, mentioned that the actors were young without understanding what was happening. “Suddenly, they became famous on a level they never expected, and on top of that, they were raped in a way they didn’t know how to handle.”

The lawsuit clarifies that both actors suffered mental and emotional anguish for 55 years. Neither Whiting nor Hussey could find a successful career after Romeo and Juliet, having lost a large number of income and without great job opportunities. Although they appeared in one movie or another, they never found success like with Romeo and Juliet.

The lawsuit is based on a California law that suspended the statute of limitations for prior child sexual abuse claims. The actors would like to be compensated for damages that would reach 500 million dollars, a figure similar to what they came to collect Romeo and Juliet on its release date.


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