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Sunday 22 October 2017

Legendary actress Olivia de Havilland (101) sues FX over her 'completely false' portrayal in Feud

Olivia de Havilland, left, and Catherine Zeta Jones as Olivia in FX's Feud
Olivia de Havilland, left, and Catherine Zeta Jones as Olivia in FX's Feud
Catherine Zeta Jones as Olivia de Havilland in Feud
Catherine Zeta Jones as Olivia de Havilland in Feud
Catherine Zeta Jones as Olivia de Havilland and Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis in Feud
British-American actress Olivia de Havilland, 1938
Olivia de Havilland smiling during a reception. / AFP / INTERCONTINENTALE / - (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Olivia de Havilland receives her Best Actress Oscar in 1947 from actor Ray Milland (1907 - 1986) for her performance in 'To Each his Own', directed by Mitchell Leisen. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
British born actress, Olivia de Havilland. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Former Best Actress Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland (To Each His Own, 1946) introduces other former winners in acting categories for a group presentation during the 75th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater on March 23, 2003 in Hollywood, California. (Photo courtesy of A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)
Olivia de Havilland arrives at the 36th French Cesar film awards ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet on February 25, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Iconic actress Olivia de Havilland (101) is suing an American network for her "completely false" portrayal in Ryan Murphy's latest anthology series Feud: Bette and Joan.

de Havilland was played by Catherine Zeta Jones in the popular 10-part drama, which delved deep into the notorious rivalry between old Hollywood actresses Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.

Her lawyer Suzelle Smith writes in the complaint said the scenes represented onscreen were not based on fact. "[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."

“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 lawsuit claims.

Catherine Zeta Jones as Olivia de Havilland in Feud
Catherine Zeta Jones as Olivia de Havilland in Feud

"FX defendants did not engage in protected First Amendment speech in putting false words into the mouth of Olivia de Havilland in a fake interview that did not occur and would not have occurred."

She says that she was not consulted about the content during production, despite being the only living person depicted in the series.

But producer Ryan Murphy, who is one of the biggest names in American television behind American Crime Story and Glee, said he didn't want to be "disrespectful" to the actress back in April when the show first aired. 

He told the Hollywood Reporter: "I didn’t write Olivia because I didn’t want to be disrespectful and ask her, ‘Did this happen? Did that happen? What was your take on that?"

Olivia de Havilland receives her Best Actress Oscar in 1947 from actor Ray Milland (1907 - 1986) for her performance in 'To Each his Own', directed by Mitchell Leisen. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Olivia de Havilland receives her Best Actress Oscar in 1947 from actor Ray Milland (1907 - 1986) for her performance in 'To Each his Own', directed by Mitchell Leisen. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

She is suing for infringement of common law right of publicity, invasion of privacy and unjust enrichment and is seeking damages from the court for "emotional harm" and pursuing an injunction preventing the network from using her name or likeness.

"Each FX defendant knew 'Feud' would be more successful if they placed an individual like Olivia de Havilland, who is known for her honesty and integrity, at the forefront of the story," the suit adds.

"Her credibility, as both the only living person of significance portrayed in 'Feud' and as a reliable source who was close to the action, added to the success of 'Feud' at the expense of Olivia de Havilland."

de Havilland celebrated her 101st birthday on Saturday.

Olivia de Havilland arrives at the 36th French Cesar film awards ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet on February 25, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)
Olivia de Havilland arrives at the 36th French Cesar film awards ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet on February 25, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

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