Some abuses take time to be reported. The latest film industry shoot to be the subject of a complaint, Romeo and Juliet… released in 1968. The adaptation of Shakespeare’s great classic by Franco Zeffirelli (The Taming of the Shrew), nominated 4 times for the Oscars and rewarded this same year with two statuettes, is tarnished by its stars, the actors Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whitingreports theAFP this Wednesday, January 4.
The acting duo, who were respectively aged 15 and 16 years old at the time of filming, filed a complaint against the studio Paramount Pictures for a scene of non-consensual nudity. According to this complaint consulted by theAFP and filed last week by the two actors now in their seventiesin Santa Monica, California, the two teenagers they were were allegedly “sexually exploited” by the studio.
Still minors, the production gave its approval to the director for an intimate scene which revealed their buttocks and their breasts. Because originally both actors had to wear flesh-colored underwear to hide their bodies. A precautionary measure that Franco Zeffirelli, who died in 2019, would have asked to have canceled otherwise “the film would fail”.
A trauma over more than 50 years
Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting thus accuse those responsible for the film “of having been dishonest and of having secretly filmed naked or partially naked minors without their consentin violation of the laws […] regulating indecency and the sexual exploitation of minors”. several hundred million dollars.
Sexual images of children are serious and should not be tolerated.
Me Solomon Gresen, lawyer for Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting
According to their lawyer Solomon Gresen, the damage suffered has persisted over the years, in particular with the release ofa new version of the movie. The Paramount studio “has images of naked minors that they know should be removed from the film”, he denounced to theAFP. “Sexual images of children are serious and should not be tolerated,” he added.
Contacted byAFP, Paramount did not respond immediately to comment on this complaint. The specialist magazine variety nevertheless pointed out thatOlivia Hussey had defended the offending scene in her columns, during an interview in 2018. At the time, she felt that Franco Zeffirelli had shot her appropriately. “It was necessary for the film,” she said at the time. It is now up to the courts to decide.
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The actors of the film “Romeo and Juliet” released in 1968 file a complaint for a nude scene