Stars of 1968’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ sue Paramount over nude scenes filmed when they were minors

Source: cnn.com 1/4/23

Actors from the 1968 film “Romeo and Juliet” have filed a lawsuit against Paramount Studios, which produced the film, for allowing the movie to be released with scenes showing them nude when they were minors.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Santa Monica Superior Court by stars Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, accuses Paramount of sexual exploitation and distributing nude images of adolescent children.

In a copy of the suit provided to CNN, the complaint alleges that the film’s director Franco Zeffirelli, who died in 2019 and is not named as a defendant in the suit, assured the actors that there would be no nudity, and that they would be able to “wear flesh colored undergarments during the bedroom/love scene.”

However, according to the complaint, Zeffirelli later told Hussey and Whiting – who were 15 and 16 at the time, respectively – that ‘they must act in the nude or the Picture would fail.”

The complaint also alleges that the actors were given body makeup and were told exactly where the camera would be positioned, and though the director assured them that no nudity would be photographed or released in the film, that is not what happened.

The scene that was included in the film and shown in theaters featured images of both Whiting’s buttocks and Hussey’s bare breasts, the complaint states.

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It’s interesting that it has taken more than 50 years for the actors to complain about this movie. If they truly had a problem with the nude scene, the time to complain about it would have been more than 50 years ago. After all, that scene was not a secret as it could be viewed by anyone and everyone who watched the movie including them.

Next, “MeSue” will convince Brooke Shields to sue Paramount for her bath tub scene in ‘Pretty Baby’

Well I suppose everyone who has ever seen this movie should be registered for child pornography in the US. They were after all under age and groomed into performing nude. Isn’t this child porn? Where are all the child protection activists? The registry supporters? Oh, that’s right, they probably watched it. That doesn’t make them perverts lol, what hypocrites! Just like the hypocrite John Walsh, was fine for him to commit statutory rape, but if you do it, you must be registered (punished) forever! Don’t get me wrong, I am totally against abuse of any kind, but sooner or later some common sense must prevail. Hopefully.

What about the original movie “Lord of the Flies”? I guess all of those actors will be in line next to sue.

Will this ever end? The US is so uptight about anything that has to do with sex or the human body.

At the heart of all of this is a truth-claim that childhood or adolescent nudity is obscene, illegal and does actual harm to the subject. This is one of the least-examined claims today, along with the other claims of “childhood trauma” being made for which there’s not a whit of evidence. There have been psychological studies which did examine these claims and revealed that they are complete, culture-driven, religiously-inflected, nonsense. The psychologists who conducted those studies were castigated for their work, lost funding, lost positions and learned the hard way that some science is simply no longer tolerated. Our society wants its boogeymen and its hatred and lord help anyone who challenges that.

One other point: Russia is now going through something very similar to our witch hunts only worse. What started with the British and the Americans has now swept the globe. In Russia’s case, it mutated into something even darker and fused with the fascism that now threatens peace in Europe and beyond.

Internet commenters are largely dismissing these claims, and I think it’s because you can put a face to the claimants. As a result of legal and media policies protecting the identities of claimants in sex-related cases, the public rarely sees the alleged victims of age-based crimes. When we hear “child” in these cases it’s hard not to imagine a young, prepubescent child. But when we can actually see the faces of teens involved, we are often less sympathetic. Think of Jerry Springer in the 90s—frequently the guests were minor teenage girls who were met with little sympathy for their sex-work-related behaviors by a jeering audience, stories that would be considered horrific human trafficking cases today. Whether it’s right or wrong, teenage victims of age-related sex crimes often look far older than the public thinks.

We see this pattern frequently. Humans love to look backwards.
But when they do there is a price. In filing this complaint what is achieved? Are these stars not reminding people of their own nudity that the vast majority have not ever known about? Will their complaints not direct others to seek out the nudity from long ago? Of course it will. Where was the protests immediately after the first showing? How often are complaints about such things simply a human attention seeking tactic? I sure got that feeling in the Senate confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh. What a show that was Ms…whoever nobody became known to the world while “replaying” the emotional trauma from long ago. Same question, Where was the timely complaint… you know…at the time just after. It was stuck in her and their own egos.

The unanswered question that should be asked is: “Why didn’t the parents do something about it at that time?” It wasn’t like this was done in some pervert’s basement. The parents had to have known.

This is what happens when politicians don’t think it through before passing laws