Olivia de Havilland at the screening of “The Heiress” on June 18, 2006. (Photo: Shutterstock)

 

“Feud: Bette and Joan,” the hit FX limited series about the rivalry between actresses Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, has garnered rave reviews and Emmy nominations. But one of the actors portrayed in the series is not a fan, and not only is she suing, but she’s also trying speed up the litigation process.

Olivia de Havilland filed a lawsuit against the FX Network and Ryan Murphy Productions, claiming her portrayal by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the series falsely paints her as a gossip and an opportunist. She particularly takes issue with the series opener, which features Zeta-Jones as de Havilland doing an interview. “[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,” wrote attorney Suzelle Smith in the complaint, filed in L.A. County Superior Court in June. “FX defendants did not engage in protected First Amendment speech by putting false words in the mouth of Olivia de Havilland in a fake interview that did not occur and would not have occurred.” The actress also claims she was never consulted about the series, in spite of being the only person portrayed who is still alive.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 101-year-old de Havilland is relying on a California statute that allows parties who are 70 years of age or older to expedite litigation, and is requesting a November trial. “This is the kind of case for which the statute was passed,” Smith said in a statement. “There is a substantial risk that without a trial preference, Miss de Havilland will be prejudiced in not obtaining the benefits of the litigation. She is eager to have this case fully resolved well in advance of her 102nd birthday.” De Havilland turned 101 on July 1.

The two-time Oscar-winning actress, best known for her role in “Gone with the Wind,” is suing for infringement of common law right of publicity, invasion of privacy and unjust enrichment. She is asking the court for damages as well as any profits gained from the use of her likeness. She also wants an injunction against FX to keep the network from using her name and likeness. FX has declined to comment.