So it will come as little surprise to learn that the Academy-award winning actress is furious with the USA channel FX for its portrayal of her as a "gossip monger" in the upcoming series Feud: Bette and Joan. In a complaint filed at L.A. County Superior Court on Friday, the legendary actress claims she has built a reputation of "integrity, honesty, generosity, self-sacrifice and dignity" by refusing to engaged in "typical Hollywood gossip" - but that Feud's opening, which features Zeta-Jones doing an interview as de Havilland creates the impression that she sold gossip to promote herself.
A lawyer for Dame Olivia said the network was "wrong to ignore Miss de Havilland and proceed without her permission for its own profit".
"Miss de Havilland was not asked by FX for permission to use her name and identity and was not compensated for such use", her attorneys tell The Los Angeles Times.
"Putting false statements into a living person's mouth and damaging their reputation is not protected by the First Amendment because the work is cloaked as fiction", it reads.
FX would do well to remember that the Oscar victor already has a landmark legal precedent named after her that was formed after she successfully sued Warner Bros.to get out of unfair contract extensions the studio kept locking her into in the 1940s. "Did that happen? What was your take on that?'"
Entertainment Weekly reports that Ryan Murphy openly admitted that he never attempted to contact de Havilland, while researching the historical events pertaining to the Feud plot. Vanity Fair points out that Bette Davis' daughter, portrayed in the show by Kiernan Shipka, is also alive.
Dame de Havilland's lawyers are reportedly seeking a speedy trial given their client's age.
Naming Ryan Murphy and FX as co-defendants, Olivia de Havilland is suing for infringement of common law right of publicity, invasion of privacy, and unjust enrichment. Pictured: De Havilland attends the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' tribute at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on June 15, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California.
De Havilland won in court, weakening the major studios' dominance over actors by limiting actors' contracts to seven years, regardless of suspension time.