Clint Eastwood is suing several companies that sell CBD supplements, alleging that they are falsely using his name and image to push products he would never agree to endorse.
Two lawsuits filed in federal court in Los Angeles include allegations that companies have spread phoney articles reporting that the 90-year-old actor-director is quitting the movie business to focus on a CBD business.
The lawsuits say Eastwood has no part in the manufacture, sale or promotion of CBD, a chemical derived from marijuana often sold as a dietary supplement or included in creams and ointments.
In the suits that seek millions in damages, Eastwood names as defendants nearly 20 small companies, based in states including Arizona, California, Delaware and Florida, that sell CBD, along with up to 60 anonymous entities that may be named later.
One of the companies, Sera Labs, said in a statement that it “worked for a limited time with a publisher and gave them specific advertisements they could use which follow our very strict guidelines and shut down the ads immediately after learning that they used Eastwood’s name and likeness.”
The company said its guidelines prohibit using such false claims in its ads and has severed all relationships with the advertiser, and it urged others in the industry to do the same.
Other companies named in the suit, including Patriot Supreme and Norok Innovation Inc., did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
The suit says phoney news articles on Eastwood and his supposed championing and selling of CBD have been spread via email and social media.
The headline on one such story reads: “Big Pharma In Outrage Over Clint Eastwood’s CBD … He Fires Back With This!”
Another headline says, “Breaking News: Clint Eastwood Exposes Shocking Secret Today.” The story includes links to purchase what it claims are Eastwood’s CBD products and quotes from a fabricated interview where Eastwood says he has moved on from the film business. That article also includes fake testimonials about the products from several celebrities, the suit says.
One of the suits also alleges that companies are using hidden tags and other tactics that link Eastwood’s name to their products in online searches.
Here’s a partial transcript of one of the lawsuits:
“For more than 60 years, Clint Eastwood has been one of the most famous actors, producers, and directors in the world.
“Mr. Eastwood is fiercely protective of his name and image, and has rarely licensed either for the promotion of products outside of the movies he acted in or directed.
“Like many of his most famous characters, Mr. Eastwood is not afraid to confront wrongdoing and hold accountable those that try to illegally profit off his name or likeness.
“Indeed, Mr. Eastwood previously litigated and won a jury trial against the National Enquirer, which was affirmed on appeal, after the tabloid falsely claimed to have exclusively interviewed Mr. Eastwood and misappropriated his name, likeness, and personality to promote and sell its product.
“This action arises from an online scam that uses a false, defamatory, and wholly fabricated “news article” about Mr. Eastwood to promote and sell cannabidiol (“CBD”) products.Under the headline “Big Pharma In Outrage Over Clint Eastwood’s CBD: [Name of CBD Product] – He Fires Back With This!”, the fraudulent “article” prominently features photographs of Mr. Eastwood and references a fabricated interview with Mr. Eastwood in which he touts his purported line of CBD products.
“In truth, Mr. Eastwood has no connection of any kind whatsoever to any CBD products and never gave such an interview.”
— Associated Press