Nonagenarian actor, producer, and director, Clint Eastwood, rose to international fame after starring in the hit CBS early-1960s Westerm series Rawhide and in Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars Trilogy’ of Spaghetti Western Films during the mid- 60s.
He went on to play the iconic antihero cop character Harry Callahan in all five Dirty Harry films, which hit theaters throughout the 70s and 80s.
Eastwood is consider as a cultural icon of sorts representing a certain brand of masculinity that he helped popularize with his iconic films roles. His work on the big and small screen led him honored with several significant accolades. Including four Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Cesar Awards and an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.
Clint Eastwood eventually branched out to directing and producing feature films as well. While he initially directed movies that he appeared in, such as Play Misty for Me, High Plains Drifter, and Bronco Billy. In more recent years, he has directed films in which he did not appear such as 2003s Mystic River and 2006s Letters From Iwo Jima.
Clint Eastwood and his Political Views and Advocacy
Eastwood is also well known for his conservative political views and advocacy. In 1986, he elected as the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Although in 2020, he unexpectedly endorsed Democrat Michael Bloomberg in his bid for the 2020 presidential election.
Clint Eastwood has always projected this image of independence and resistance to the status quo. As such, he has made his fair share of enemies throughout his storied life and career. Over the decades, the Hang ’em High actor has also had to contend with quite a few legal battles that have given him a hard time. That kind of thing seems to be par for the course whenever a star gets as big as he is. In this video, we’re going to be taking a closer look at some of these legal battles while first focusing on his most recent win against a fraudulent CBD company; that published a fake interview that seemingly showed him endorsing their products.
Clint Eastwood’s $6.1 Million Legal Victory
In early October 2021, Clint Eastwood and Garrapata, the company that manages the rights his likeness awarded $6.1 million after winning a lawsuit against a sketchy Lithuanian company named Mediatonas UAB; allegedly using Eastwood’s image to sell their line of CBD products.
The company even went as far as to publish a totally bunk interview with the 91-year-old actor and director to make it seem as if he was actively endorsing their products.
Eastwood and Garrapat filed two lawsuits in LA federal court against three manufacturers and marketers of CBD products that referenced in an online ‘click bait’-style article that claimed that Eastwood was endorsing their products. You might even have seen some of these ads since they were heavily run last year.
Eastwood’s legal team focused on a fake interview with an outlet that masqueraded as the Today Show. The article event included a photograph of Eastwood making an appearance on the NBC program. In the article, there were affiliate links directing customers to purchase CBD items.
Mediatonas UAB never responded to a summons back in March which led US District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner to submit a default judgment. Eastwood and Garrapata awarded $6 million plus nearly another hundred grand in attorney fees. Mediatonas UAB was also his with a permanent injunction banning them from using Eastwood’s likeness again.
Clint Eastwood Defamation Damage Request
Eastwood’s request for defamation damages was, however, denied because to prove his case there would have needed to be additional context information to fully understand what CBD products are and why Eastwood would not endorse such cannabis-derived products. The judge ultimately concluded that the text in the ‘click bait’ article wasn’t overtly libelous in nature.
Eastwood celebrated his legal victory by telling the New York Post that he’s not only satisfied with the court’s ruling but he also further felt like the judgment sent a powerful message to would-be online scammers to reconsider their approach before trying to illegally use someone’s name and reputation to sling their wares.
Eastwood’s lawyer, Jordan Susman, also noted that the case was an example of the star making sure that no one could use his name without his permission to turn a profit.
But this wasn’t the first time that Clint Eastwood had to defend his name and honor in a public court. Over the years, he has faced multiple legal battles head-on, and for the most part, he’s been victorious. Let’s take a look at some of his previous legal fights and see what their outcomes ended up being.
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Clint’s Car-Ramming Case
A woman named Stacy MacLaughlin filed a $100,000 lawsuit against the Dirty Harry star after alleging that he repeatedly. And intentionally rammed her Nissan Maxima with his quarter-ton pickup truck back on December 16, 1988 while in the parking lot of Warner Brothers Studios. Allegedly, Eastwood went ballistic after Ms. MacLaughlin accidentally parked in his beloved parking space.
Municipal Court Judge Marion E. Gubler ended up ruling in Eastwood’s favor in August of 1991 and ordered McLaughlin to pay for Clint’s legal fees.
Eastwood argued that he was merely attempting to park his vehicle in his rightful space. He ended up paying $960 to repair the headlights and bumper of McLaughlin’s vehicle.
She tried to get more money out of him for punitive damages while claiming that Eastwood acted maliciously. And while the judge agreed that what Eastwood did was; In fact, morally wrong and illegal, he did agree that his actions weren’t egregious enough to warrant any punitive damages.
In court, Clint Eastwood’s attorney, Denise D. Gorges, argued that McLaughlin’s lawsuit motivated primarily by greed.
Sondra Locke’s Lawsuit
Sondra Locke was an Oscar-nominated actress who frequently starred in films alongside Clint Eastwood. She passed away at the age of 74 on November 3, 2018; at her home in Los Angeles after losing her battle to bone and breast cancer.
Locke and Eastwood entered a domestic partnership back in the fall of 1975. She had first met the actor and director in 1972 when she unsuccessfully attempted to lobby for the title role of his 1973 film Breezy. They became romantically entangled, however, while on location in Page; Arizona during the filming of the 1976 Western The Outlaw Josey Wales.
Sparks immediately flew after they met, and according to an interview that Locke gave in 2012. They ended up sleeping together on their first date. After production of that film wrapped up in December 1975, the couple bounced between Eastwood’s two estates in Sherman Oaks and Carmel, California. They also frequently seen at his rental properties in San Francisco and Tiburon. They eventually settled at Eastwood’s property in Bel-Air, which Clint ended up selling in 2016.
But what started out as a storybook romance eventually turned sour. While the couple remained together for 13 years and appeared in numerous films together; their relationship deteriorated as the years went on. According to Locke, she wanted to branch out into the entertainment industry and build her career beyond his films. When she expressed this desire to him, Eastwood infuriated.
By 1989, it was clear that their relationship was beginning to crumble. Eastwood was clandestinely seeing another woman on the side and had two publicly unacknowledged children with her. At the same time, Locke claims that she had two abortions upon Eastwood’s insistence over the course of their relationship.
Clint Eastwood Trouble in Relationship
Their relationship troubles finally came to a head one fine April day when Locke returned to her and Eastwood’s shared home while she was filming Impulse, only to find that Clint had changed the locks and put all of her clothes and belongings in boxes.
Locke ended up filing a lawsuit against Eastwood. In his defense, Clint claimed that Locke was merely an ‘occasional roommate’ for the last ten years. They ended up settling the suit with Locked being awarded a three-year, $1.5 million deal with Warner Brothers Studios to develop her own directing projects.
But as the years dragged on, Locke’s deal didn’t really end up going anywhere. Between 1990 and 1993, Locke’s lawyer, Peggy Garrity, claimed that she had proposed approximately 30 films to the studio. Every one ended up getting turned down, so Locke decided to file another suit alleging that Clint Eastwood had purposely defrauded her and that the Warner Brothers Studios’ deal was essentially just a sham.
Terry Semel, the CEO and co-chairman of Warner Brothers Studios at the time, responded to her accusations by saying that the deal never guaranteed that any films would be produced and that Locke was free to take her projects to other studios if she wanted to.
Clint later testified in court that he had felt victimized by his ex-lover. He said that he felt like she was committing ‘social extortion’ or blackmail.
Clint and Sondra’s Legal Settlement in 1996
The suit was settled privately in 1996 for an undisclosed sum. After she was awarded her victory, Locke told the press that she felt like it had sent a loud and clear message to the entertainment industry that people can’t simply get away with whatever they want just because they have power.
Locke went on to direct two more films after Impulse, 1995s Death in Small Doses and 1997s Trading Favors – both of which performed dismally at the box office. She also starred in a few projects before appearing in her final role in the 2017 romantic comedy film Ray Meets Helen.
You got to give the guy props. At 91-years-old, Clint Eastwood is still very much so active as a Hollywood producer, director, and actor. Few stars of his age are even thinking about their professional careers anymore. But Eastwood is a man that refuses to let just about anything get between him and his goals. It makes sense that he wouldn’t let something as mundane as a pesky lawsuit slow him down.
In fact, Eastwood’s most recent feature, the neo-Western film ‘Cry Macho’, which he directed, produced, and stars in just hit theaters and has been performing quite well despite receiving mixed reviews.
Do you think that the courts made the right decision in his most recent CBD-related lawsuit? Let us know in the comments section below.
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