Clint Eastwood won $6.1 million in a lawsuit against a CBD company that allegedly pimped the Oscar-winning actor-director’s visage to imply he endorsed CBD supplements.
I am pleased with the court’s ruling, and believe this judgment sends a powerful message to other online scammers who might try to illegally use someone’s name and reputation to sell their products.” said Clint Eastwood Eastwood The Court for the Central District of California awarded Eastwood for the unauthorized use of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” star’s name and likeness. The company also had to pick up Eastwood’s $95,000 in legal tab.
The company website shared an online “interview” that featured Eastwood claiming his new role selling CBD offered him “something bigger than movies.”
“This was a really, really difficult decision for me,” Eastwood is quoted as saying of his decision to leave Hollywood to be a CBD salesman. The article was accompanied by a photo of Eastwood from an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show, along with the show’s logo — and faux testimonials about the effectiveness of Eastwood’s nonexistent CBD line from Hollywood pals Terry Bradshaw, Sam Elliott, Michael J. Fox and Garth Brooks.
“Mr. Eastwood has no connection of any kind whatsoever to any CBD products and never gave such an interview,” the original court papers said.
“In pursuing this case, and obtaining this judgment, Mr. Eastwood has again demonstrated a willingness to confront wrongdoing and hold accountable those who try to illegally profit off his name, likeness, and goodwill,” said Jordan Susman, a lawyer for Mr. Eastwood, in a statement.
Mediatonas UAB could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Eastwood, 91, who recently starred in and directed “Cry Macho,” has enjoyed a lengthy Hollywood career that has ranged from inhabiting tough-guy roles (“Dirty Harry”) to directing dramas like “Million Dollar Baby” (2004), which won best picture at the 2005 Academy Awards.
The original complaint, filed in July 2020, named as defendants the companies whose products were being advertised in the article. In February, Mr. Eastwood’s lawyers filed an amended complaint against Mediatonas UAB, the company that owns the websites where the false stories appear.
While the court agreed that Mr. Eastwood and Garrapata were entitled to damages for the unauthorized use of his name and likeness, it declined to grant their full request, which also accounted for defamation claims.
“It requires additional context to understand what CBD products are and why a person like Clint Eastwood would not endorse a marijuana-based product,” the judge wrote, adding that the language used “was not libelous on its face.”
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