1968’s Romeo & Juliet Actors Sue Paramount For Child Abuse Over The Film’s Nudity

Olivia Hussey was only 15 years old at the time of playing Juliet, while Leonard Whiting was 16. The complaint alleges that director Franco Zeffirelli had shown the actors where the camera would be positioned and promised there would be no nudity photographed or released, which is obviously not what happened as the final cut showcases the nudity of both actors.

“What they were told and what went on were two different things,” Tony Marinozzi, a business manager for both actors, told Variety. Marinozzi talked about the trust these teenagers had in the director, how that trust it was taken advantage of, and the power imbalance that existed between the young actors and the director:

“They trusted Franco. At 16, as actors, they took his lead that he would not violate that trust they had. Franco was their friend, and frankly, at 16, what do they do? There are no options. There was no #MeToo.”

The complaint alleges that Hussey and Whiting have suffered “mental anguish and emotional distress in the 55 years since the film’s release,” as well as a loss of job opportunities. It is believed that the pair are seeking damages “believed to be in excess of $500 million.” Considering the countless number of people who have seen “Romeo and Juliet” just from educational viewings alone, this high price tag seems perfectly acceptable.

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