Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting were just teenagers when they electrified audiences in the 1968 version of “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Franco Zeffirelli. The film was a hit and was nominated for four Academy Awards, but it also stirred controversy over a bedroom scene which included images of Whiting’s buttocks and Hussey’s bare breasts.
Now in their 70s, Hussey and Whiting filed a lawsuit in Santa Monica Superior Court on Friday, accusing Paramount of sexually exploiting them and distributing nude images of adolescent children.
The suit alleges that Zeffirelli — who died in 2019 — assured both actors that there would be no nudity in the film, and that they would wear flesh-colored undergarments in the bedroom scene. But in the final days of filming, the director allegedly implored them to perform in the nude with body makeup, “or the Picture would fail.”
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“Romeo and Juliet” stars Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting have accused Paramount of sexually exploiting them and distributing nude images of adolescent children. https://t.co/dxRJcI4ccC
— Variety (@Variety) January 3, 2023