January 21, 2018

Olivia de Havilland Is Suing FX Over Feud: Bette and Joan Series

03 July 2017, 01:59 | Cassandra Thompson

Catherine Zeta Jones as actress Olivia de Havilland in FX's"Feud Bette and Joan

Catherine Zeta Jones as actress Olivia de Havilland in FX's

On the eve of her 101st birthday, two-time Oscar victor Olivia de Havilland has announced she is suing FX and producer Ryan Murphy over the unauthorized use of her identity in "Feud: Bette and Joan", according to a statement released Friday morning.

Based on the rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, Bette and Joan aired earlier this year and featured Catherine Zeta-Jones as de Havilland.

Catherine Zeta-Jones plays de Havilland in the show, serving as commentator on the two main actresses throughout the eight-episode series.

"All statements made by Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland in this fake interview are completely false, some inherently so; others false because they were never said".

De Havilland - the only person depicted in the series who is still alive - also said she was not consulted.

The suit accuses FX and its partners of appropriating de Havilland's name and identity and placing her in "a false light to sensationalize the series and to promote their own businesses" while ignoring her interests entirely.

"The interview is fake and the statements attributed to Olivia De Havilland are false", lawyers Don Howarth, Suzelle Smith and Zoe Tremaye of L.A.'s Howarth & Smith also note.

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Probably most upsetting to de Havilland is that the series put words into the mouth of her character which are "inaccurate and contrary to the reputation she built for herself".

She is asking the court for damages, any profits gained from the use of her likeness and an injunction to prevent FX from using her name and likeness again, THR said.

FX would do well to remember that the Oscar victor already has a landmark legal precedent named after her that was formed after she successfully sued Warner get out of unfair contract extensions the studio kept locking her into in the 1940s.

FX and Ryan Murphy have yet to comment on Havilland's legal filing.

In April, de Havilland spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the show and admitted she hadn't seen it then.

De Havilland moved to Paris in the 1950s and rarely made public appearances after retiring but returned to Hollywood in 2003 to take part in the 75th Academy Awards show. De Havilland complains that she gave no such interview and that other scenes within the film reflect poorly on her.

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