De Havilland, who is the only living person portrayed in the FX series, was played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the show. 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]ll statements made by Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland in this fake interview are completely false, some inherently so; others false because they were never said," claims de Havilland's attorney Suzelle Smith. "FX defendants did not engage in protected First Amendment speech in putting false words into the mouth of Olivia de Havilland in a fake interview that did not occur and would not have occurred."
De Havilland says that she was never consulted on the series, despite being the only person alive who experienced the events depicted.
The actress is suing for infringement of common law right of publicity, invasion of privacy and unjust enrichment and is asking the court for not only damages but also any profits gained from the use of her likeness and an injunction to keep FX from continuing to use her name and likeness.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in April, de Havilland said that she hadn't seen the show, but "in principle, I am opposed to any representation of personages who are no longer alive to judge the accuracy of any incident depicted as involving themselves."
Murphy, meanwhile, told THR that he never contacted de Havilland because he didn't want to intrude. "I didn't write Olivia because I didn't want to be disrespectful and ask her, 'Did this happen? Did that happen? What was your take on that?'" he explained.