Actors lose nudity lawsuit in Romeo and Juliet

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When Romeo and Juliet was filmed, Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey were, respectively, 16 and 15 years old. image source: GETTY IMAGES

A Los Angeles judge has ruled that a child sex assault case filed by the performers of the 1968 film Romeo and Juliet will be dismissed.

Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting have claimed that the film’s director pushed them into filming naked sequences when they were young.

However, a Superior Court judge ruled that the scene in question did not include enough explicit information to trump the First Amendment’s safeguards.

Hussey was 15 at the time of filming, and Whiting was 16.

The plaintiffs deliberately decided which statutes related to their case, according to a preliminary finding given by Judge Alison Mackenzie of the Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday.

In addition, the judge determined that the lawsuit did not meet the standards for suspending the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.

Attorney Solomon Gresen, who represented both Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting in the case, expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision, calling it on “the wrong side of this issue.

” He contended that the representation of naked youngsters participating in simulated sexual actions is not protected by the First Amendment.

Mr. Gresen stated that his clients are considering an appeal and that he plans to pursue a separate federal action.

Ms. Hussey and Mr. Whiting, both in their 70s, emphasized their willingness to fight for justice in a joint statement.

They stated that they have already waited about 55 years and that it appears they will have to wait even longer.

Right present, Whiting and Hussey are both 72. Image source: GETTY IMAGES

Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting sued Paramount Pictures in December, alleging sexual harassment and child sexual abuse.

They alleged that the film’s director, Franco Zeffirelli (who died in 2019), pushed them into recording naked scenes despite assurances that they would not have to.

According to the original allegation, Zeffirelli instructed them that they have to perform the scenes naked “or the Picture would fail.

” He apparently guaranteed both actors that no nudity would be captured by the cameras.

These charges were made in the lawsuit Hussey and Whiting filed against Paramount Pictures.

It should be mentioned that during the moment in question, there were brief images of Olivia Hussey’s and Leonard Whiting’s bare breasts in the final cut of the movie.

In their case, Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting requested damages totaling more than $500 million (£417 million), taking into consideration the alleged hardship they went through and the money the movie had made since its premiere.

The exploitation and sexualization of children in the film industry must be addressed and legally challenged, said attorney Solomon Gresen in a statement.

He stressed the importance of upholding current legislation and safeguarding those who are most vulnerable.

Romeo and Juliet, a 1968 movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, received positive reviews from critics and was a commercial success. It won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Cinematography.

However, due to the representation of nudity involving the young actors in the film’s infamous bedroom scene, controversy has grown over time.

The movie is still a top pick for educational purposes, and it is frequently shown in classrooms throughout the world as part of teachings on William Shakespeare despite the controversy surrounding the sequence.

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