The son of Franco Zeffirelli has hit out against the two lead actors from the late Italian film director’s 1968 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, who are suing Paramount Studios for child abuse over a nude scene in the film. The director, who died in 2019, allegedly warned them that “the film would fail” if they didn’t perform the scene nude. On Friday, Pippo Zeffirelli, who is also the president of the Franco Zeffirelli Foundation, said in a statement that the love scene was “far from pornographic”. In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on 30 December, Hussey and Whiting accuse Paramount of sexually exploiting them as young actors and distributing nude scenes of adolescents. Zeffirelli said he believed the film’s two producers, John Brabourne and Anthony Havelock-Allan, had consent forms from the actors’ parents.