Romeo And Juliet Stars To Sue Studio For Alleged ‘sexual Abuse’ On Set: The former teen stars of the 1968 Paramount Pictures version of “Romeo and Juliet” have filed a lawsuit against the production company, alleging that the nude scene in the movie constituted sexual harassment, fraud, sexual abuse, and intentional infliction of emotional distress upon the film’s title actors, who were only 15 and 16 at the time.
According to the lawsuit, renowned Italian director Franco Zeffirelli had informed the adolescents that nudity would not be necessary and that flesh-colored clothing would be utilized for a bedroom scene. However, Zeffirelli forced them to switch to body makeup in the final days of filming, then secretly photographed their bare bodies while claiming his camera angles would prevent exposure.
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According to the case submitted late last week in California Superior Court, Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey were 15 and 16 years old when the footage was recorded, respectively. The lawsuit was brought at the eleventh hour of a California amnesty period that permits claims of child sexual abuse even though the statute of limitations has passed.
A former teen lover of Steven Tyler also brought a civil complaint before the law’s deadline of December 31, alleging sexual assault and abuse by the frontman of Aerosmith in the early 1970s. Whiting is 72 years old, and Hussey is now 71. They demand an undetermined amount of damages.
In defiance of state and federal laws prohibiting immorality and the exploitation of minors for profit, the lawsuit claims that the defendants “were dishonest and secretly videotaped the naked or partially nude minor children without their knowledge.” Tuesday’s request for comment from a Paramount spokesperson did not receive an immediate response.
Since the publication of “Romeo and Juliet,” which catapulted Hussey and Whiting to overnight celebrity, they claim to have had “physical and emotional pain, combined with great and severe mental anguish and emotional sorrow.” A “lifetime of lost earnings and other work advantages and job possibilities” is another allegation made by them. Follow techyember.com for more updates.