Clint Eastwood Sues CBD Retailers for Deceptively Using His Name

The famed actor-director claims infringement of his likeness and trademarks, plus defamation, via fabricated interviews and metadata.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AFI

Clint Eastwood has filed a pair of lawsuits over the way that CBD retailers are using his name to promote their products online. The complaints lodged Wednesday in California federal court take issue with everything from allegedly fabricated news articles to the use of metadata.

The 90-year-old actor-director has repeatedly gone to court throughout his career to protect his name and image. He boasts of winning a jury trial against the National Enquirer in the 1990s. He's also attained settlements such as the time a few years ago when a furniture maker thought it'd be a good idea to sell ottomans and chairs named "Clint" and "Eastwood."

This time, he's shooting at the cannabidiol industry.

"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," states one complaint. "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."

In some ways, the lawsuit isn't particularly different than the one filed by Sandra Bullock and Ellen DeGeneres last year. They too objected to fake media sites featuring comments and endorsements, although their ongoing suit targets anonymous affiliate marketeers. Eastwood, by contrast, already has some names including Sera Labs, Greendios and For Our Vets.

The other complaint filed by Eastwood today is perhaps slightly more legally provocative. That one is premised on the way the defendants — including Norok Innovation, Natural Stress Solutions and Mabsut Life US Corp. — are allegedly luring Google searchers to websites.

"By using Mr. Eastwood’s name in hidden metatags, Defendants have figuratively posted a sign with Mr. Eastwood’s trademark in front of their online store to attract consumers and caused the consuming public to believe that Mr. Eastwood is associated with and/or endorsed the CBD Online marketplace Defendants’ CBD products, when no such association actually exists," states the complaint.

Eastwood is represented in both actions by Jordan Susman and Margo Arnold at Nolan Heimann.