‘Romeo and Juliet’ sexual exploitation case dismissed… U.S. court says it’s not child pornography

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A poster for the 1968 film Romeo and Juliet. (Source: Rotten Tomatoes)

Olivia Hussey, 71, and Leonard Whiting, 72, the male and female lead actors of the 1968 film ‘Romey and Juliet’, filed a lawsuit for hundreds of billions of won against the film production company claiming that they were ‘sexually exploited’ during filming, but the court dismissed it. .

Foreign media such as AFP reported on the 25th that Judge Allison Mackenzie of Los Angeles County dismissed the lawsuit filed by Olivia Hussey, who played Juliet, and Leonard Whiting, who played Romeo, against Paramount Pictures.

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According to the ruling, Judge McKenzie said, “The scenes in question claimed by the two actors do not constitute child pornography and are protected under the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and the press.”

“We have not been able to provide any evidence that the film is sexually suggestive enough to violate the law,” he said.

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Judge Mackenzie said the lawsuit does not fall within the scope of California’s revised law, which temporarily suspends the statute of limitations for child sex crimes.

In addition, it was judged that the situation would not change even if the film was re-released in February of this year.

Previously, Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting filed a lawsuit against Paramount in late December of last year claiming damages of more than $500 million (640 billion won), claiming that the bed scenes in the movie were filmed nude without prior notice.

According to the complaint, Husse was 15 years old and Yu Ting was 16 at the time of filming.

They claimed, “Director Franco Zeffirelli (died in 2019) said before filming, ‘There will be no nudity when shooting the bedroom scene, and we will shoot in skin-colored underwear.'”

However, the director said, “Please put on simple makeup on your body and act naked. Otherwise, the film will fail.”

In addition, they said, “The director said he would arrange the camera so that the nudity would not be exposed, but parts of the body such as the buttocks and breasts were exposed.”

Director Zeffirelli’s son Pippo Zeffirelli issued a statement in early January, arguing that the scene was not pornographic and that the actors and director maintained a good relationship even after filming.

In a statement, lawyers for the two actors condemned the court’s decision to dismiss them and said they plan to file further lawsuits in federal court soon.

Source: Donga

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