Actors Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting have filed a lawsuit against Paramount Studios with claims exceeding $500 million.
The complaint, filed in Superior Court in Los Angeles County, claims that the stars were sexually exploited during the making of their award-winning 1968 film Romeo and Juliet. Both actors were in their mid-teens at the time.
According to the complaint, the film’s director, who’s now deceased, told the teenagers that they would appear in flesh-colored clothing during the film’s bedroom scene.
However, on the day of the shoot, the same director told the actors they would wear body makeup instead.
He also promised, according to the complaint, that during the scene the cameras would be positioned in a way that wouldn’t show their nude bodies.
Despite these promises, the actors allege they were filmed in the nude without their knowledge or consent.
According to the Wall Street Journal,
Ms. Hussey and Mr. Whiting were previously barred from filing a lawsuit for the incident because the statute of limitations had expired. But in 2019, California passed a law that lifted the statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse for a three-year period. That three-year window expired at the end of 2022.
The complaint seeks millions in damages for mental and emotional distress.