5:43pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Actress Lashes Back After Being Sued for Refusing Nude Sex Scene
The legal dispute over an actress who objected to doing lovemaking scenes in the nude is now a First Amendment issue.
Two years ago, Anne Greene sued Time Warner, HBO, Cinemax and producers True Crime claiming that she was bullied into performing nude scenes, sexually harassed and placed in a dangerous work environment on the set of Femme Fatales.
Recently, with a trial coming, True Crime brought counterclaims against Greene, basically saying that there was no way that she couldn't have known that the acting role required such a performance. She's now being sued for breaching the "nudity rider" of her contract, and the production company demands that she pay them damages for all the disruption she caused.
On Thursday came Greene's response in the form of motion to strike. She looks to leverage California's anti-SLAPP statute, which is meant to detour claims that are an impingement of one's First Amendment rights. For most, that's free speech, but here, it's her petitioning rights.
According to Greene's legal papers, "True Crime cannot prevail on any of its cross-claims because True Crime expressly targets Greene's litigation-related conduct and speech in every single cross-claim, which conduct and speech is absolutely privileged and non-actionable as a matter of law."
Legal jargon aside, Greene is looking to hold the production defendants accountable for a hostile work environment.
We've detailed True Crime's story how the company allegedly went out of its way to tell her what was coming for her role and how producers say they made accommodations for her.
Here's Greene's side.
She says she was "blind-sided with multiple script rewrites," and that as a result, she expressed her discomfort with the role. Allegedly faced with a $100,000+ threat for breaching her contract, she says she went ahead "under duress" and "was forced to perform nude and simulated sexual intercourse."
She asserts that True Crime has violated multiple union rules and regulations, including the requirement to have a closed set, the requirement to have fully functioning and properly fitted pasties (True Crime's counterclaim says that's against HBO policy) and the requirement to make the performer aware in writing any script changes requiring explicit nudity and depiction of sexual intercourse.
It doesn't stop there.
"During one of these sex scenes, Ms. Greene was forced to perform topless with a pasty on her vagina," says her court papers. "The male performer only wore a sock on his penis. During this scene, the male performer began to bleed from his mouth onto Greene's face and body. Instead of stopping the scene, Greene was told to 'keep going' while the male performer cupped her breasts. Due to the performer's bleeding onto her nude body, Greene later was forced to undergo testing for sexually-transmitted diseases."
Ultimately, the success of the motion to strike will depend on first, whether the judge agrees that the counterclaim arose from an act that was in furtherance of her right to petition a hostile work environment, and if so, whether True Crime is likely to prevail on the merits of its claim. If not, then the counterclaim is tossed and Greene can recover her legal fees. The latest motion will also mean that a judge will have an early opportunity to interpret the standard by which nudity riders in entertainment employment contracts are enforceable.