The teen stars from the 1968 film adaptation of 'Romeo And Juliet' are suing the movie studio for child sexual abuse.
More than five decades later, the then-teen stars. Olivia Hussey, now 71, and Leonard Whiting, now 72 were 15 and 16 when they shot the film 'Rome And Juliet,' and are reporting sexual abuse more than five decades later. The two actors are claiming the film's director Franco Zeffirelli pressured them into participating in a nude scene for the movie, even though they were underage. They also say Zeffirelli, who passed away in 2019, told them the cameras would not actually show any nudity; however if you have scene the film, both Whiting's buttocks and Hussey's breasts were shows in the sex scene.
“What they were told and what went on were two different things,” said Tony Marinozzi, who is a business manager for both actors. “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.”
In the complaint, Hussey and Whiting suffered emotional distress since the film was released and they have lost out on job opportunities. They are seeking damages "believed to be in excess of $500 million.”
“Nude images of minors are unlawful and shouldn’t be exhibited,” said the actors’ attorney, Solomon Gresen, in an interview. “These were very young naive children in the ’60s who had no understanding of what was about to hit them. All of a sudden they were famous at a level they never expected, and in addition they were violated in a way they didn’t know how to deal with.”