Paramount is being sued by Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, who claim they were victims of sexual harassment, fraud, sexual abuse, and intentional infliction of mental distress. Hussey and Whiting claimed they were forced to record nude scenes for the 1968 film “Romeo and Juliet” when they were 15 and 16.
According to Variety, The complaint states that the late director Franco Zeffirelli told the actors the film would not include nudity until he claimed the movie “would fail” unless they performed the scene nude while wearing body makeup on the last day of filming.
Tony Marinozzi, the business manager of Hussey and Whiting said, “What they were told and what went on were two different things.” Tony added, “They trusted Franco. At 16, as actors, they took his lead so that he would not violate the trust they had. Franco was their friend, and frankly, at 16, what do they do? There are no options. There was no #MeToo.”
The film “Romeo and Juliet” was released in 1968. based on William Shakespeare’s play of the same name. Leonard Whiting plays Romeo, while Olivia Hussey plays Juliet. The film grossed $38.9 million worldwide despite having a production budget of $850,000.
Hussey and Whiting have lost jobs and experienced mental pain in the 55 years since the film’s debut, according to the complaint. Hussey and Whiting had limited acting careers after “Romeo and Juliet,” despite their breakout performances. They are seeking damages “believed to be in excess of $500 million.”
“Romeo and Juliet” is available on Vudu.