Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Nudity in ‘Romeo and Juliet’
A decide in California on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit introduced by the lead actors in the 1968 movie adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” in opposition to Paramount Pictures over a scene in which their characters get up in mattress collectively nude.
The actors, Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, asserted in the lawsuit filed last year that they had been underage on the time of filming, and that the film’s director, Franco Zeffirelli, had assured them that they’d be carrying flesh-colored undergarments through the bed room scene. But on the morning of the shoot, the lawsuit claimed, he instructed the teenage actors that “they must act in the nude or the picture would fail.”
Their swimsuit claimed that Paramount, the film’s distributor, “knew or should have known images of plaintiffs’ nude bodies were secretly and unlawfully obtained during the performance.” In courtroom papers, legal professionals for the actors wrote that the scene shouldn’t be thought-about protected speech as a result of it certified as “child pornography.” Ms. Hussey was 16 when the scene was filmed, and Mr. Whiting was 17, Tony Marinozzi, a supervisor for each of the actors, mentioned.
A lawyer for Paramount disputed the actors’ evaluation of the movie, which received two Oscars, arguing in courtroom papers that the scene just isn’t lewd or lascivious, and including that their claims had been too outdated to deliver in courtroom.
“The reality that the film is not child pornography is, of course, also supported by the fact that the film is extremely famous, has been in distribution for fifty-five years, and has been viewed or possessed by millions of Americans (including students studying Shakespeare in school), without any contention by law enforcement, plaintiffs, or their parents that it is ‘child pornography,’” the lawyer, Richard B. Kendall, wrote.
Zeffirelli died in 2019, however one in all his sons whom he adopted as an grownup, Giuseppe Zeffirelli, mentioned that the scene was “as far from pornography as you can imagine.”
The decide dismissed the lawsuit, writing that the declare involved filmmaking, a protected exercise beneath the First Amendment.
In a press release, a lawyer for the actors, Solomon Gresen, mentioned the actors supposed to take the difficulty to federal courtroom.