‘Romeo & Juliet’ Child Stars Allege Nude Scene Was Child Abuse: Lawsuit

  • Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, the teenage stars of the 1968 adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet,” filed a lawsuit on 30 December accusing the studio of sexual exploitation.
  • Hussey and Whiting are suing Paramount, alleging that the nude scene in the Oscar-winning film amounted to child abuse.
  • In the suit, the pair claim that the director, Franco Zeffirelli, told them there would be no nudity and flesh-coloured items would be worn in the bedroom scene but he then later insisted they performed nude “or the picture would fail”. Zeffirelli died in 2019.
  • At the time of the production, Hussey was 15 years old and Whiting was 16.
  • The complaint alleges the pair have suffered “mental anguish and emotional distress” in the years since and have lost out on job opportunities. Damages are being sought “believed to be in excess of $500 million.”
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