Olivia de Havilland suing FX over Catherine Zeta-Jones’ portrayal on ‘Feud’

Olivia de Havilland is suing FX and Ryan Murphy Productions in regards to the depiction of herself on 'Feud.'. Keystone Press/ ET Canada

It looks like the real life Olivia de Havilland was not a fan of Catherine Zeta-Jones’ portrayal of her on FX’s Feud.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that she is suing the network, FX, and Ryan Murphy Productions in regards to the depiction of herself on the series. On Friday, de Havilland filed a complaint in L.A. County Superior Court claiming the series portrays her as a hypocrite gossip.

“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,” her attorney, Suzelle Smith, states in the claim against FX.

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“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,” the statement continues.

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In the claim, de Havilland declares that the series was supposed to depict what actually happened, but she was never consulted in regards to her character or the truth of the events.

In April, Murphy confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he never contacted her. “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?’” he said.

She’s also not a fan of how the show depicted her relationship with her sister. “Zeta-Jones’ de Havilland refers to Joan Fontaine as her ‘b**** sister,’ an offensive term that stands in stark contrast with Olivia de Havilland’s reputation for good manners, class and kindness,” Smith states.

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In April, de Havilland spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the show and admitted she hadn’t seen it then. “In principle, I am opposed to any representation of personages who are no longer alive to judge the accuracy of any incident depicted as involving themselves,” she said.

“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,” Smith writes in the complaint.

She is suing for infringement of common law right of publicity, invasion of privacy and unjust enrichment. She is also asking for damages and profits as a result of the use of her likeness.


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