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Olivia de Havilland Loses Legal Battle Against FX & 'Feud'

Oscar-winning actress Olivia de Havilland‘s defamation lawsuit against FX Networks has been thrown out by a three-judge panel in the court of appeals.

The legendary actress sued the network, alleging that she was defamed by a damaging portrayal in the Ryan Murphy limited series Feud. She says the producers never asked permission for the portrayal or consulted over the events that happened in the show.

The court unanimously ruled that the First Amendment protects filmmakers who portray real events with fictionalized elements.

“Whether a person portrayed in one of these expressive works is a world-renowned film star — ‘a living legend’ — or a person no one knows, she or he does not own history,” Justice Anne Egerton wrote (via Variety). “Nor does she or he have the legal right to control, dictate, approve, disapprove, or veto the creator’s portrayal of actual people.”

FX received support from the Motion Picture Association of America as a ruling in de Havilland‘s favor would give celebrities and politicians the right to shut down any films about their lives.

Olivia de Havilland Sues Ryan Murphy & FX Over 'Feud' Portrayal

Olivia de Havilland is suing FX and Feud: Bette and Joan executive producer Ryan Murphy over the way they portrayed her on the limited series.

The legendary actress, who celebrates her 101st birthday on Saturday (July 1), was played by fellow Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones on the series.

Olivia says that she has a reputation for not gossiping or expressing an unkind behavior, but she was portrayed in the opposite way on Feud. She also says that she was not asked to give permission to use her likeness on the show.

“[A]ll 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,” de Havilland‘s lawyer writes in the complaint (via THR). “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.”

“Zeta-Jones’ de Havilland refers to Joan Fontaine as her ‘bitch sister,’ an offensive term that stands in stark contrast with Olivia de Havilland’s reputation for good manners, class and kindness,” the complaint adds.

Olivia says no one contacted her about the show, despite her being the only living person who experienced the events depicted in the show. A couple months ago, she explained why she would not watch the series.

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Kiernan Shipka Steals the Spotlight at 'Feud' Event in L.A.

Kiernan Shipka looks super chic while walking the carpet at the Feud: Bette and Joan For Your Consideration event on Friday night (April 21) at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.

The 17-year-old actress totally stole the spotlight from veteran actors Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, and Alfred Molina with her stylish outfit!

At the event, executive producer Ryan Murphy said that the next season will focus on Princess Diana and Prince Charles‘ divorce.

“Charles and Diana’s story literally begins with filing the divorce papers. It’s about that pain of the dissolving of a fairy tale, particularly for Diana. It starts with the filing of divorce papers and takes you up until her death,” he said (via Deadline).

FYI: Kiernan is wearing an Erdem dress.

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'Feud' Renewed for Season 2, To Focus on Princess Diana & Prince Charles

Feud: Bette and Joan is set to debut on Sunday (March 5), and FX has already given the series a second season with a 10 episode order.

The second season will focus on Princess Diana and Prince Charles and their unhappy union in Feud: Charles and Diana, EW reports. No casting or premiere date has been set.

This Sunday, you can see Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon as Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, respectively. Be sure to tune into FX to see the first season of Feud on Sunday (March 5)!

Susan Sarandon & Jessica Lange Debut 'Feud: Bette and Joan' Full Official Trailer - Watch Here!

The first full-length trailer for the upcoming FX series Feud: Bette and Joan has finally arrived, and it gives us a deeper look at the feud between the legendary actresses!

The series stars Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford and Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and the story centers around their feud while shooting What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and after filming ended. It explores how the two endured ageism, sexism, and misogyny while struggling to hang on to their careers.

Pictured: Jessica and Susan joining co-stars Kiernan Shipka, Catherine Zeta-Jones and show creator Ryan Murphy at their Feud: Tastemaker Lunch held at The Rainbow Room on Tuesday (February 14) in New York City.

Feud: Bette and Joan premieres on FX on March 5 – Watch the new trailer below!


FEUD: Bette and Joan Season 1 Official Trailer | FX
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