HomeCelebrityWhy Are The 'Romeo And Juliet' Stars Suing Paramount?

    Why Are The ‘Romeo And Juliet’ Stars Suing Paramount?

    William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy play ‘Romeo and Juliet‘ has been adapted for the silver screen a number of times. One of the adaptations was the 1968 film of the same name directed by Franco Zeffirelli. It starred Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting as the titular lovers.

    The film is in the news after more than five decades after its release. Both Hussey and Whiting have filed a lawsuit accusing Paramount of sexually exploiting them when they were teens. Let’s find out the details of this lawsuit.

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    ‘Romeo And Juliet’ Stars Sue Paramount

    Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet

    The 1968 film adaption of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy was the most financially successful adaptation at the time of its release. However, it also created controversy for one of its bedroom scenes.

    According to Variety, the film’s stars Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting filed a lawsuit in Santa Monica Superior Court on Friday. They accused Paramount, the studio behind the film, of sexually exploiting them and distributing their clothless pictures.

    The actors, who are in their 70s now, were in their teens when the film came out. In the lawsuit, they alleged that the film’s director Franco Zeffirelli had assured them of no nudity in the film. However, later he coerced them into performing a nude scene with some makeup “or the Picture would fail.”

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    The Film’s Director Has Been Accused Of Manipulating His Actors

    Romeo and Juliet
    Romeo and Juliet

    Hussey who was 15 and Whiting who was 16, have alleged that the director filmed them sans clothes without actually telling them. “What they were told and what went on were two different things,” Tony Marinozzi, the actor’s business manager said.

    They trusted Franco. At 16, as actors, they took his lead that he would not violate that trust they had. Franco was their friend, and frankly, at 16, what do they do? There are no options. There was no #MeToo,” he said.

    Both the actors said they suffered mental trauma and lost jobs because of the film. Whiting and Hussey seek damages “believed to be in excess of $500 million.”

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