FX lost its motion to get the lawsuit filed against the network by legendary actress, Olivia de Havilland, dismissed after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge determined that there is enough evidence for the prosecution to pursue the case. The 101-year-old Dame’s lawsuit arose from her depiction in the Emmy nominated limited series, “Feud: Bette and Joan.” Ryan Murphy's production outfit is also a co-defendant in the lawsuit.

Lawyers for the retired actress argued that FX and Ryan Murphy’s Production did not ask permission from de Havilland to use her name and identity and she was also not compensated for it.

In striking down FX’s motion, Judge Holly Kendig ruled that the plaintiff had sufficient evidence to prove claims that her name and identity were “misappropriated” and that “Feud” depicted her “in a false light with intentional or reckless disregard for the truth.” The lawsuit will proceed to trial on November 27.

Right to free speech

FX and Murphy’s argument in favor of the motion cited both the US and California constitutions, which, they maintained, give rights to free speech in connection with a public issue. The defendants also argued that de Havilland’s consent was not necessary to depict her in “Feud.” Her identity's inclusion in the series was not violative of the retired actress' right to publicity, FX also argued.

According to the report by LA Times, FX’s was able to prove that de Havilland’s lawsuit was based on protected rights; however, they failed to convince the judge that there was no sufficient evidence for all the claims made by the Academy Award-winning actress.

Defendants’ admissions

The defendants, however, admitted that scenes where de Havilland called her sister a “bitch” as well as the interview, in which, she talked about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, did not occur in real life.

Such admissions were among the basis by the judge in resolving the motion saying a jury could interpret that the plaintiff did say the things attributed to her in the series. Lawyers for the plaintiff told the LA Times that they are now looking toward the future. Olivia de Havilland is said to be "very pleased" with the decision.

Possibility of an appeal

The November trial is not yet final, however, since the defendants can still elevate and appeal the case to the proper appellate court, according to a lawyer for the plaintiff. An appeal would stay the case, the lawyer added.

FX or Ryan Murphy’s production did not comment on the decision or if they will pursue an appeal on the decision of Judge Kendig.