Court rules against de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland
Olivia de Havilland

NEW YORK • Olivia de Havilland said a miniseries falsely portrayed her as a gossip and a hypocrite, damaging her reputation.

But, on Monday, a court said the depiction of the Oscar-winning actress in FX Networks' Feud: Bette And Joan was overwhelmingly positive. The docudrama is about the bad blood between Hollywood legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the later years of their lives. The court said allowing de Havilland's case to proceed would interfere with the rights of authors and film-makers to make creative works that dramatise historical events.

De Havilland, 101, is portrayed by Catherine Zeta-Jones in Feud, which stars Jessica Lange as Crawford and Susan Sarandon as Davis.

De Havilland, best known for the 1939 film Gone With The Wind, won two Oscars in a career spanning 50 movies. She objected to scenes in Feud where she was portrayed as using a vulgar term to refer to her sister, actress Joan Fontaine, and joking about singer Frank Sinatra's drinking.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2018, with the headline 'Court rules against de Havilland'. Print Edition | Subscribe