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Olivia de Havilland's Feud with Fox Intensifies

The studio fires back at the actress' lawsuit about Feud: Bette and Joan

Liam Mathews

Last month, 101-year-old screen icon Olivia de Havilland sued Ryan Murphy, FX and studio Fox 21 Television over her depiction in Murphy's limited series Feud: Bette and Joan. Her attorneys argued that her depiction by Catherine Zeta-Jones as a gossip was inaccurate and defamatory and that FX didn't ask her permission to use her name and identity nor was she was not compensated for it.

Yesterday, her lawyers asked to speed the trial date up to this fall, citing de Havilland's advanced age. Now, Fox 21 has finally responded to de Havilland's grievances.

"Our project was a meticulously researched dramatization of the well-documented feud between actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford," Fox 21 said in a statement released on Wednesday morning, according to Deadline. "The law on this is very clear: no permissions of any kind were required in order to tell the tale."

"Docudramas, such as this one, are original narrative works, based on real, verifiable facts and events. By the logic of Ms. de Havilland's attorneys, no producer would be able to tell any stories about famous people, living or dead without their consent" the studio added. "We respectfully disagree with Ms. de Havilland's objections to her portrayal, and we stand by the content, including her portrayal, and will vigorously defend this project."

A hearing on de Havilland's petition for a speedy trial start is scheduled for Sept. 13.

Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland

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