Clint Eastwood Wins Multi-million Lawsuit over CBD Scam Content

Stephen Andrews
12 Oct 2021

"You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?" Well, do you, punk?'" You don't screw with Clint Eastwood, okay. The "Dirty Harry" star and five-time Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood recently won a lawsuit against a company accused of using Mr. Eastwood's image and likeness to make it appear as if he was endorsing CBD brands.

In the aftermath of the lawsuit, Clint Eastwood and Garrapata, the company that has ownership over his name and brand rights, were awarded $6.1 million. 

Eastwood and his legal team initially filed two lawsuits in federal court in Los Angeles in July 2020 against three CBD manufacturers and advertisers whose products appeared in an online article that falsely claimed the film star endorsed CBD products. Allegations also targetted 10 online retailers who supposedly exploited search results with meta tags manipulation.

The first lawsuit referred to an online article containing a fabricated interview with an outlet supposed to look like the "Today" show. The article featured a photo of Eastwood from an actual appearance on "Today" and hyperlinked to products for purchase. 

According to The New York Times, the court document said, "Mr. Eastwood has no connection of any kind whatsoever to any CBD products and never gave such an interview."

The judge for the Eastwood case entered a default judgment after Mediatonas UAB, the company linked with producing the fake interview, failed to respond to the summons in March. The company is headquartered in Lithuania, which is part of the European Union. 

Subsequently, Eastwood and Garrapata were awarded $6 million as Mediatonas has not been authorized to use Mr. Eastwood's name and image, as well as approximately $95,000 in attorneys' fees and a judicial order that prohibits any future uses of Eastwood's name and likeness. 

Jordan Susman, a lawyer for Mr. Eastwood, said in a statement, "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." 

Last year, the original complaint filed named the companies whose products were being advertised in the article as defendants. In February, Eastwood's legal team filed an amended complaint against Mediatonas UAB, which reportedly owns the websites where the fake content shows up. 

While Mr. Eastwood and Garrapata were entitled to damages for the unlawful use of his name and image, the court did not grant a full request, which encompassed allegations for defamation. 

"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," according to the New York Times. 

At the age of 91, Clint Eastwood is not only winning cannabis-relating lawsuits. Eastwood has a new film titled "Cry Macho," a neo-Western drama that adapts the 1975 novel of the same name from author N. Richard Nash. "Cry Macho" debuted in September and tied in the top of the box office and streaming services.

Throughout his decades-long career, Eastwood has directed over 40 films. He won an Academy Award for Best Director for "Unforgiven" (1992) and "Million Dollar Baby" (2004). As an actor, he has on a few occasions turned down roles that do not suit his screen persona, including playing James Bond and Superman. 

Stephen Andrews