By Ashley Cullins
(The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles)
This feud could reach trial in the next four months.
FX's biggest event this fall may not be the debut of American Horror Story: Cult — as Olivia de Havilland is asking the court to expedite her lawsuit against the network over her portrayal in Feud: Bette and Joan.
The 101-year-old actress says Ryan Murphy's series makes her look like a gossip who exploited the personal lives of others to further her own career. She's the only living person portrayed in the show, yet she wasn't consulted, and she's suing for infringement of common law right of publicity, invasion of privacy and unjust enrichment.
In a Tuesday filing, she asks L.A. Superior Court judge Holly Kendig to set a trial for November, relying on a California statute that essentially allows parties who are 70 or older to speed up litigation.
"This is the kind of case for which the statute was passed," said de Havilland's attorney Suzelle Smith in a statement. "There is a substantial risk that without a trial preference, Miss de Havilland will be prejudiced in not obtaining the benefits of the litigation. She is eager to have this case fully resolved well in advance of her 102nd birthday.”
Even considering de Havilland's three-digit age, this motion is unusually quick. Attorneys for FX haven't even filed an appearance in the matter. Also worth noting, the case was originally before judge Robert Hess, but Smith filed a peremptory challenge and it was reassigned last week. The exact nature of that conflict is unclear.
July 26, 9:40 a.m. Updated with a statement from Feud producers.