101-Year-Old Olivia de Havilland Gets Judge’s Green Light in ‘Feud’ Lawsuit Against FX

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Two-time Oscar-winning actress Olivia de Havilland is heading to court in  her lawsuit against FX over the way she was depicted in the Ryan Murphy series, Feud: Bette and Joan. On Friday, a judge said during a hearing that the network won’t be allowed to strike her complaint on First Amendment grounds.

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The 101-year-old actress claims she has built a reputation for integrity and dignity, and that Feud non-consensually featured her as a character played by Catherine Zeta Jones in the series about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Alleging violation of her privacy and publicity rights, de Havilland objected to the alleged impression conveyed in the show that she was a hypocrite who sold gossip to promote herself.

 

In response to the lawsuit, the defendants looked to defeat her claims under California’s SLAPP law, which provides recourse to those who are dragged into frivolous suits arising from First Amendment activity on matters of public interest.

 

Although FX was able to convince L.A. Superior Court Judge Holly Kendig that the actress’s complaint did arise from free speech, the network has run into trouble on the SLAPP’s second prong — whether de Havilland has a likelihood of prevailing.

 

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP; FX
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