Actress Olivia de Havilland has lost her lawsuit concerning a TV series which she claimed depicted her falsely and unfairly. The US Supreme Court refused to review the case.
De Havilland, now 102, is one of the last exemplars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Her lawyers argued that the Feud: Bette And Joan, made the Gone With the Wind actress look like a hypocrite and gossip.
The TV network FX’s anthology series starred Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lang as Joan Crawford. Catherine Zeta Jones played Dame Olivia, who claimed producers were guilty of "unauthorised and false use" of her "name and reputation."
A Los Angeles judge had allowed the lawsuit to go before a California appeals court, but the decision was reversed on First Amendment grounds or right to free speech.
De Havillan brought the case to the state’s supreme court, which judged in favour of the series' producers, before the actress asked the US Supreme Court to review the decision.
The court rejected her petition to review the dismissal of her lawsuit yesterday.
"One day someone else who is wronged for the sake of Hollywood profits will have the courage to stand on the shoulders of Miss de Havilland and fight for the right to defend a good name and legacy against intentional, unconsented exploitation and falsehoods, " De Havilland's lawyers declared.
"Miss de Havilland hopes she will live to see the day when such justice is done."
After a judge dismissed the case in March, the show’s creator, Ryan Murphy, said it was a "victory for the creative community." The decision, he declared, allowed writers "to tell important historical stories inspired by true events".
In the 1940s, Dame Olivia won Academy awards for her roles in the films To Each His Own and The Heiress. Interestingly, in light of her lack of success this time around, a court victory for her in a Warner Bros case in 1943 effectively ended actors’ contract servitude.