Kate Mangels’ Hollywood Reporter article “Why Lawsuits Over ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘Nevermind’ Were Dismissed by Judges” examines two high-profile lawsuits in which older artistic works were alleged to constitute child abuse: the 1968 film “Romeo and Juliet” and Nirvana’s 1991 album “Nevermind.”
Throughout the article, Kate explores the basis for these lawsuits, which were both ultimately dismissed for procedural reasons. As she explains, the procedural protections that led to these dismissals help shed light on “the legislature’s understanding of the unique costs to defendants in cases with such serious allegations.” Following the #MeToo movement, which started a national trend where statutes of limitations were significantly extended (or even eliminated entirely) in cases of child sexual abuse, Kate points out that states like California have also introduced requirements for older claims of sexual assault—requirements which are in place to mitigate frivolous lawsuits.
“These requirements serve to protect defendants financially and reputationally. Just being named as a defendant in a case relating to childhood sexual assault can have severe consequences. Particularly in high-profile cases, an individual’s reputation can be destroyed by a mere allegation.”
To read the full article, click below.