Leonard Whiting: 5 Things About ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Star Who Tried Suing Over Nude Scene

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Image Credit: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock Leonard Whiting is an histrion champion known for Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 Romeo and Juliet. He appeared successful a nude country on with Olivia Hussey. In 2023, helium and Olivia sued Paramount Pictures for $500 cardinal implicit memorable scene. In May of 2023, the justice successful the lawsuit moved ‘tentatively’ to disregard it.

Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey were the teenage stars of the 1968 movie adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic play Romeo And Juliet. Both stars filed a suit against Paramount regarding their nude scenes successful the movie connected Friday, December 30. The actors, who were some teenagers erstwhile filming the movie, are suing the workplace for sexually exploiting them and distributing nude images of teen children, per VarietyTheir suit comes pursuing a California law, which suspends the statute of limitations for claims of kid intersexual abuse.

However, justice Alison Mackenzie enactment distant a “tentative ruling to disregard the case,” according to a May 25, 2023 study by Deadline. Calling the suit a “gross mischaracterization” of the scene, she besides stated successful penning that, “Defendant’s peculiar question to onslaught Plaintiffs’ full Complaint …is GRANTED arsenic each origin of enactment asserted therein arises from protected enactment and Plaintiffs person failed to amusement a probability of occurrence connected the merits of those claims.”

Find retired much astir Leonard, 72, and the suit here.

Leonard roseate to fame for playing Romeo successful the classical film. (Everett Collection)

1. Leonard and Olivia said they were some told determination would beryllium nary nudity successful the film.

Leonard was 16 erstwhile helium took portion successful the movie, and Olivia, present 71, was 15. The suit claims that director Franco Zeffirelli, who died successful 2019 astatine 96, had initially told some stars that they would deterioration nude undergarments successful the arguable chamber scene, but aboriginal begged them to movie bare with assemblage makeup. The suit besides says that they were told that nary nudity would beryllium included successful the movie, and they wouldn’t beryllium filmed nude, but it was. “They trusted Franco. At 16, arsenic actors, they took his pb that helium would not interruption that spot they had. Franco was their friend, and frankly, astatine 16, what bash they do? There are nary options. There was nary #MeToo,” their manager Tony Marinozzi told Variety. The 2 stars are seeking up to $500 cardinal successful damages.

2. Leonard mostly retired from acting successful the 1970s

Before being formed arsenic Romeo, Leonard had appeared successful a assortment of TV roles, with his archetypal portion coming successful 1965’s The Legend of Young Dick Turpin. Some of his different TV parts included on The Magical World of Disney and Laughter from the Whitehall. After Romeo And Juliet, he was formed successful a fewer much movie and TV roles, including Frankenstein: The True Story, and 1975’s Rachel’s Man. After the 1975 film, helium seldom worked on-screen. His lone roles aft 1975 see providing the dependable for a quality successful the animated series The Dreamstone in 1990, and a 2015 film.

3. He was besides a signifier actor

While his past on-screen movie relation for 40 years was Rachel’s Man in 1975, Leonard did proceed acting for the signifier for a small spot longer. He played the Pharaoh successful a 1978 accumulation of the classical musical Joseph And The Technicolor Dream Coat, which ran until 1979, per TheatreGoldThe accumulation was besides included connected the BBC.

Leonard Whiting walks the reddish carpet astatine a movie festival. (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

4. He’s been joined twice

Throughout his life, Leonard has had 3 antithetic wives. He archetypal joined precocious model Cathee Dahmen in 1971 and had a daughter Sarah Beth, who passed distant successful 2014. After divorcing from Cathee, Leonard was successful a narration with Valerie Tobin, who helium had a girl Charlotte Westenra with. Charlotte has gone connected to go a manager and dramaturg, according to her website. Charlotte is intelligibly adjacent with her dada and spoke astir their narration successful an August 2016 interrogation with Jinshan Hong“Sometimes we beryllium astir and sermon Shakespeare together. We’ve had arguments implicit silly things. So occasionally we bash get into heated debates,” she told the outlet. “I was truly arrogant of him and I’ve got pictures of his stills from immoderate of his films.”

Leonard has been joined to Lynn Presser since 1995.

5. Leonard reunited with his ‘Romeo & Juliet’ co-star successful 2015

While Leonard mostly stepped distant from acting successful the 70s, helium did reunite with Olivia Hussey for the 2015 movie Social Suicide, which is loosely based on Romeo And Juliet, nearly 50 years aft they starred successful the 1968 film. Instead of playing star-crossed forbidden lovers though, the 2 played a parent and begetter to the starring quality Julia, played by Olivia’s daughter India Eisley.

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