According to the lawsuit, Zeffirelli told the actors that no nudity would be filmed and that they would wear flesh-colored underwear during the bedroom scene, but on the morning of the shoot he told them “they have to act nude or the picture would fail.”
The director “showed them where the cameras would be set up so no nudity would be filmed or photographed for use Romeo and Juliet or elsewhere,” the lawsuit said.
The actors sued just before a three-year window in California expired, which temporarily lifted the statute of limitations for people who said they were sexually abused as children to file civil suits. In recent days, the state has seen a spate of litigation under the law called the California Child Victims Act before the window expired on Saturday.
The lawsuit alleges, among other things, sexual molestation and sexual abuse in childhood.
The Franco Zeffirelli Foundation, a non-profit organization in Italy dedicated to the director’s legacy, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In her 2018 memoir The girl on the balconyRecalling filming the scene, Hussey writes that she confronted Zeffirelli after having a “little panic attack” after a makeup artist asked her to apply full-body makeup and he assured her that they would be wearing a nightgown in the scene would.
“‘Even though things should, you know, flow in a different direction, I want you to be ready,'” Hussey recalled the director’s words.
The scene was shot on a closed set, Hussey recalled in the memoir, meaning only essential crew members were allowed to be present, but there was one incident where a “dirty old man” had to be removed from the crew, she wrote .
In interviews around the time the memoir was published, Hussey had expressed some approval of how the scene was filmed and narrated diversity that it was tastefully shot. She told Fox News that “it wasn’t that big of a deal” and that the film’s production team had become “one big family.”
John C. Manly, an attorney who has long represented sex abuse plaintiffs, said Hussey’s testimony as an adult would likely make the case more difficult for her.
Marinozzi said that Hussey’s interviews about the scene showed that she was trying to “get a handle on” the situation and to express her pride in the film and its achievement, although he says she was never proud of that scene.
“They did what they were told to do because they were professionals,” he said.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.
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https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/essentially-pornography-teen-stars-of-romeo-and-juliet-sue-over-nudity-in-1968-film-20230105-p5cagf.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Teen Romeo and Juliet stars sue over nudity in 1968 film