“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 lawsuit says. Ms. de Havilland, 101, is seeking damages for “emotional harm” and “harm to her reputation,” and is also pushing for an injunction against the use of her name and likeness.
“Feud: Bette and Joan” portrays the decades-long rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, and is part of Mr. Murphy’s larger FX anthology series depicting feuds throughout history. Ms. de Havilland and Davis were close friends and starred in four films together, including “Hush … Hush, Sweet Charlotte.” In the series, Ms. de Havilland, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, is an important character, appearing in six episodes as a confidante to Davis and an active participant in the Davis-Crawford drama.
The lawsuit rejects both the quotes attributed to Ms. de Havilland and the overall tone of the portrayal. “Olivia de Havilland has made efforts, spent time and money, protecting her well-defined public image as one who does not engage in gossip and other unkind, ill-mannered behavior,” the lawsuit reads.
Mr. Murphy, the creator of “Feud,” told the The Hollywood Reporter in April that he did not contact de Havilland about her portrayal in the series.
“I didn’t write Olivia because I didn’t want to be disrespectful and ask her, ‘Did this happen? Did that happen? What was your take on that?’” he said.