Olivia de Havilland, 101, Sues FX Over ‘Feud: Bette and Joan’ Portrayal


She’s still feisty! Olivia de Havilland, who celebrated her 101st birthday on Saturday, July 1, has filed a lawsuit against FX Networks and Ryan Murphy Productions over her portrayal in Feud: Bette and Joan.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on Friday, June 30, in the Los Angeles County Superior Court and was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, de Havilland claims she refrained from gossip during her 50-plus year acting career. However, her character in the FX series, portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones, plays a key role in the drama between late Hollywood legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Olivia de Havilland and Catherine Zeta-Jones as de Havilland in 'Feud: Bette and Joan.'
Olivia de Havilland and Catherine Zeta-Jones as de Havilland in ‘Feud: Bette and Joan.’ George Hurrell via John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images; Suzanne Tenner/FX

“[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,” the actress’ attorney Suzelle Smith writes in the complaint. “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.”

De Havilland, who is the only living person portrayed in Feud: Bette and Joan, says in the lawsuit that she was never consulted about her depiction in the series. Ryan Murphy, the creator of Feud, told The Hollywood Reporter in April that he did not contact de Havilland because he “didn’t want to be disrespectful and ask her, ‘Did this happen? Did this happen? What was your take on that?'”

The Gone With the Wind actress is suing for infringement of common law right of publicity, invasion of privacy and unjust enrichment. She is asking the court for damages, profits gained from the use of her likeness and an injunction to keep the network from continuing to use her name and likeness.

Feud: Bette and Joan aired in March and April. The second season of the anthology will focus on the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and is set to premiere in 2018.

Murphy’s lawyer Craig Emanuel and FX had no comment when Us Weekly reached out.

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