Seeking a jury trial, sweeping damages and unplugging the potential Emmy-contending show with an injunction, the two-time Oscar victor says her portrayal by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the anthology series damaged her "professional reputation for integrity, honesty, generosity, self-sacrifice and dignity".
The prestige of the Oscar nomination and the popularity of "Gone With the Wind" did not get de Havilland the types of roles she wanted. However, the actress is not happy with her portrayal onscreen and her lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on Friday (30Jun17) is "based on the unauthorized commercial use of Dame Olivia's name and identity in the FX (network) hit series". "FX Defendants knew that they did not obtain Olivia De Havilland's permission to use her name, identity, or likeness in their documentary or the advertisements of their products and services".
Susan Sarandon stars as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange portrays Joan Crawford.
"Feud" casts Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland. De Havilland, who lives in Paris, filed the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday.
Though the show is meant to dramatize actual historical events, de Havilland said she was never consulted or asked for permission to use her identity, despite the fact that she claims she is the only survivor of the events the series depicts. Specifically de Havilland said she made it a practice to never engage in "gossip mongering about other actors" in order to generate media attention for herself. "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's lawyer stressed the fact that her client is known for being kind and respectful so she would never use such a term. "Then, unfortunately, there was the frightful tragedy that happened there in Nice, so I didn't get the chance to", Zeta-Jones said in January.
FX and Murphy have not yet commented on the lawsuit or de Havilland's allegations.
In April, de Havilland spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the show and admitted she hadn't seen it then. She turns 101 on Saturday (01Jul17).