Today is the 101st birthday, of two-time Oscar-winner Olivia de Havilland and she just announced that she is suing FX and producer Ryan Murphy over the unauthorized use of her identity in Feud: Bette and Joan.
According to the L.A. Times, her attorneys filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against FX Networks, LLC and Ryan Murphy Productions,
“based on the unauthorized commercial use of Dame Olivia’s name and identity in the FX hit series.
Miss de Havilland was not asked by FX for permission to use her name and identity and was not compensated for such use. Further, the FX series puts words in the mouth of Miss de Havilland which are inaccurate and contrary to the reputation she has built over an 80-year professional life, specifically refusing to engage in gossip mongering about other actors in order to generate media attention for herself.
“A living celebrity has the right to protect her name and identity from unauthorized, false, commercial exploitation under both common law and the specific ‘right to publicity’ statute in California. FX was wrong to ignore Miss de Havilland and proceed without her permission for its own profit.”
Catherine Zeta-Jones, who played de Havilland in the series was asked whether she had ever met her,
“No, I didn’t, unfortunately. I was going to try and get to see her. I was in the south of France this last summer. Then, unfortunately, there was the horrible tragedy that happened there in Nice, so I didn’t get the chance to.”
Ms. De Havilland is no stranger to lawsuits. In 1943, she filed a landmark lawsuit against Warner Bros. that resulted in the collapse of the binding long-term contract studio system and put the de Havilland Law on the books.
Her team plans to file a motion seeking an expedited trial date because of de Havilland’s age. (via L.A. Times)