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Olivia de Havilland Files Lawsuit Against Ryan Murphy & FX, Calls ‘Feud: Bette and Joan’ ‘Patently False’

Murphy has pissed off the wrong living legend.

olivia de havilland feud bette and joan

Olivia de Havilland


After creating eight successful television series, earning him 20 Emmy nominations and four Emmy wins — Ryan Murphy has finally arrived.

Olivia de Havilland, star of “Gone With the Wind,” widely considered the greatest classic films of all time, has filed a lawsuit against Murphy, creator of such programs as “Glee,” “American Horror Story,” and “Feud: Bette and Joan.”

READ MORE: ‘Feud: Bette And Joan’: Ryan Murphy Reveals Why Hiring Women to Write and Direct Mattered So Much

“Feud” stars Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis, Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford, and Catherine Zeta-Jones as de Havilland. The only actress still living, the 101-year-old de Havilland is not happy with her portrayal in the FX series. In the lawsuit, which you can read in all of its glory here, de Havilland’s lawyers claim FX Networks and Ryan Murphy Productions used her name and identity without her consent, without providing compensation, and that the depiction of her are “pure fiction,” “fake,” and “patently false.” 

feud bette and joan zeta jones kathy bates

Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland.

Ali Goldstein/FX

In particular, de Havilland is upset with being painted as a “petty gossip.” According to the lawsuit: “De Havilland has built a professional reputation for integrity, honesty, generosity, self-sacrifice, and dignity. She has refused to use what she knew about the private or public lives of other actors (which was a considerable amount) to promote her own press attention and celebrity status, and this aspect of her character was, and is, both commercially and personally valuable to her.”

READ MORE: ‘Feud: Bette and Joan’ Review: Why Care About the Facts When a Show Feels This True?

De Havilland’s lawyers also take issue with the faux documentary-style interviews that frame the show, claiming that “All statements made by Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland in this fake interview are completely false.” And then there’s this eyebrow-raising sticking point: “Olivia de Havilland never called her sister a ‘bitch.’”

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