Romeo and Juliet Stars Sue Paramount for Child Abuse

Romeo and Juliet stars who were under aged at the time of production have sued Paramount for alleged sexual exploitation.

The two stars in the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, are suing Paramount pictures for alleged sexual abuse, sexual harassment and fraud. The stars are suing for more than $500m over a nude scene in the movie that was recorded when they were teenagers.

Hussey was 15 and now 71, while Whiting was 16 and now 72. They also accused Paramount pictures of negligence and the distribution of nude images of children. They both claim to have suffered mental anguish and emotional distress in the five decades since the movie has been released.

According to the lawsuit, Director Franco Zeffirelli, originally told them that they would film with flesh colored underwear in the bedroom scene, but on the morning of the shoot, they were told to wear only body makeup.

They were assured that the camera would be positioned in a way that would not show nudity only to be filmed without their knowledge, said the suit. Zeffirelli, who died in 2019, allegedly told them they must film in the nude “or the picture would fail.”  The film included Hussey’s bare breasts and Whiting’s bare buttocks.

The lawsuit was filed under a California law that temporarily suspended the statute of limitations for claims of child abuse. Paramount pictures has yet to respond to the claims.

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Written by Monsurat


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