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Olivia de Havilland Sues FX, Ryan Murphy Over 'Feud' Portrayal
02 July 2017, 01:58 | Marlene Fleming
Catherine Zeta Jones as actress Olivia de Havilland in FX's"Feud Bette and Joan
Feud, starring Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange, focused on the drama between late legendary actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.de Havilland, who was also an actress during that time, was played in the series by Catherine Zeta Jones.
"FX defendants misappropriated Olivia de Havilland's name, likeness and identity without her permission and used them falsely in order to exploit their own commercial interests", the complaint states.
It argues that putting "false statements into a living person's mouth and damaging their reputation is not protected by the First Amendment because the work is cloaked as fiction".
"Zeta-Jones" de Havilland refers to Joan Fontaine as her "bitch sister, ' an offensive term that stands in stark contrast with Olivia de Havilland's reputation for good manners, class and kindness", the complaint adds. After all, if everyone who hated how they were portrayed in movies and TV was able to sue, we wouldn't have any more "based on a true story".
Seeking a jury trial, sweeping damages and unplugging the potential Emmy-contending show with an injunction, the two-time Oscar victor says her portrayal by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the anthology series damaged her "professional reputation for integrity, honesty, generosity, self-sacrifice and dignity".
Murphy said in an interview with THR April that he didn't ask de Havilland about the series because he didn't want to be disrespectful.
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As this suit comes on the day before de Havilland's 101st birthday, the Los Angeles Times reports that her legal team will be seeking an expedited trial to resolve the matter as fast as possible.
On the eve of her 101st birthday, Olivia de Havilland is serving FX with a gift of her own - a lawsuit. "Did that happen? What was your take on that?"
Ryan Murphy might have felt free to use his creative license in re-enacting the historical events surrounding the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, but, as the Hollywood Reporter shares, there's one person left to raise an objection.
De Havilland is suing FX and Ryan Murphy Productions for infringement of common law right of publicity, invasion of privacy and unjust enrichment.
The Gone With The Wind star is asking a jury to consider the emotional distress caused by the show, as well as potential financial losses and the profits made from using her identity.
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