Supreme Court Protects Expressive Works by Denying Review of Olivia De Havilland Lawsuit

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a California court’s dismissal of actress Olivia de Havilland’s lawsuit against FX Networks.  The decision sustains First Amendment protection to expressive works and free speech rights of the creators. De Havilland had accused FX of violating her right of publicity and depicting her in a false light in the FX miniseries “Feud: Bette and Joan.”  She claimed that actress Catherine Zeta-Jones’s portrayal of De Havilland created “a public impression that she was a hypocrite, selling gossip in order to promote herself at the Academy Awards, criticizing fellow actors, using vulgarity and cheap language with others.”  De Havilland also alleged that FX’s “misappropriation” caused her harm, and she sought a permanent injunction restraining FX “from continuing to infringe [her] right of publicity.” A California trial court initially…

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