FX would do well to remember that the Oscar victor already has a landmark legal precedent named after her that was formed after she successfully sued Warner Bros.to get out of unfair contract extensions the studio kept locking her into in the 1940s.
"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 complaint states. She turns 101 years old on July 1, and she's alleging that "Feud" damaged her "professional reputation for integrity, honesty, generosity, self-sacrifice and dignity". Representative for Murphy and FX Networks, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.
The suit says the series has hurt de Havilland's "reputation for honesty and integrity", and the Oscar victor wants unspecified damages.
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones portrays de Havilland in the pseudo-documentary series, which is about the rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis while working on "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" in the early 1960s.
In the complaint, lawyers criticized Zeta-Jones' depiction of de Havilland giving an interview that they said had never taken place in real life, even though the series intended for viewers to believe it was true.
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The Gone with the Wind actress is not happy with being depicted as a "gossip".
"The interview is fake and the statements attributed to Olivia De Havilland are false", lawyers Don Howarth, Suzelle Smith and Zoe Tremaye of L.A.'s Howarth & Smith also note.
The star says Feud was created to look like reality, but no one consulted her: the only person alive who experienced the events depicted.
At other times the show depicts her as a "petty gossip" she adds, calling the Oscars interview "fake" and "completely false". "FX was wrong to ignore Miss de Havilland and proceed without her permission for its own profit". Lawyers for de Havilland say that they will seek to get a speedy trial due to their client's advanced age.
Later in her career, de Havilland appeared in the 1964 drama "Hush..."
The "landmark decision" in her legal victory set the outside limit of a studio-player contract at seven years, including suspensions, according to Ephraim Katz's "The Film Encyclopedia".