10:44am PT by Eriq Gardner
Producers Allowed to Sue Actress for Refusing to Film Nude Sex Scene
The production company behind Cinemax's Femme Fatales has been given the green light by a California judge to go forward with its countersuit against Anne Greene for allegedly breaching the "Nudity Rider" of her contract by refusing to film nude sex scenes.
Greene, whose credits include Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, sued first, alleging in a complaint against Time Warner, HBO, Cinemax and production company True Crime that she was bullied, sexually harassed and placed in a dangerous work environment.
A trial was scheduled to happen this past summer, but then, True Crime filed counterclaims at the last second over its series that premiered on May 13, 2011.
The actress initially auditioned for lead roles in two second-season episodes, and according to the producer, she was sent the show's "sizzle reel" — a preview video which True Crime asserted had provided her ample notice that Femme Fatales was an erotic, adult-targeted anthology whose principal castmembers appeared partially nude and engaged in acts of simulated sex. If it wasn't clear enough, Greene also got "casting breakdowns" for roles said to "require partial nudity," defined as "chest" and "behind."
Nevertheless, Greene says she never would have agreed to the job if she knew it involved "soft-core porn." She says she only went ahead with simulated sexual intercourse "under duress," the result of a $100,000-plus threat for breaching her contract, and that the producers violated multiple union rules and regulations, including the requirement to have a closed set and a requirement to make the performer aware in writing to any script changes involving explicit nudity and depiction of sexual intercourse.
The counterclaims against her presented a different story: Greene never expressed reservations when she agreed to play the part of Kendra for a Femme Fatales episode entitled "Jailbreak." Her contract included a personal release and nudity rider. She was given a DVD copy of a prequel episode.
It was only at the last moment, according to True Crime, that Greene expressed her discomfort with a scene featuring simulated oral sex. The producer says it "accommodated Greene's concern and revised the script" and didn't "attempt to convince, persuade or coerce Greene to perform any scenes against her will or to which she expressed objection or discomfort."
Then, on the second day of shooting, before Greene was to simulate nude sex with a male actor, she objected to being topless. With no time to replace her, she was fitted with "pasties" to obscure her nipples. But this allegedly violated an HBO rule.
"The True Crime representative knew the 'Pasties' would show on film and therefore require True Crime to hire a body double and spend substantial time editing (both at significant unbudgeted expense) just to get the frontal partially nude shots called for in the scene, and would not be compliant with HBO's policy prohibiting the use of 'Pasties' in sex scenes," stated the counterclaims. "Nevertheless, the True Crime representative agreed to accommodate Greene's wishes in order to mitigate and minimize True Crime's losses."
True Crime, represented by Reed Smith attorney Harrison Dossick, blamed her for "substantial delay and disruption" on the set, and after she sued for being "blindsided" by the sex scenes, it looked to hold her liable for breaching the express terms of the nudity rider.
This counterclaim set off an angry motion to strike, essentially an effort to kill the counterclaims by dressing them up as a retaliatory action to impinge her First Amendment right to petition a hostile work environment. Greene, represented by attorneys Keith Fink and Jennifer Yeung, added other salacious details about what she was asked to do for Femme Fatales — including performing with a male actor wearing a sock on his penis who allegedly began to bleed from his mouth onto Greene's face and body during the filming.
L.A. Superior Court Judge Barbara Scheper won't strike the counterclaims because she doesn't see it as retaliatory and writes that True Crime "has provided ample evidence that it will prevail," specifically mentioning the videos and scripts the actress got when auditioning. This all sets up one potentially crazy trial that's currently scheduled to begin on Feb. 17, 2015.