Clint Eastwood is known across the world for over six decades of success on the Silver Screen. He’s also apparently a big name in the bootleg CBD market, where fly-by-night companies have used his name and image without his permission.
The 91-year-old actor and director won a $6.1 million settlement Monday against a Lithuania-based CBD company named Mediatonas UAB after a federal judge in California ruled the company’s fraudulent ad titled “Big Pharma In Outrage Over Clint Eastwood’s CBD: Sera Relief CBD Gummies” defamed him.
“Mr. Eastwood’s name and likeness have only been licensed once, for a single Super Bowl commercial ‘themed around America’s resilience and recovery from the Great Recession,’” court documents from U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner said.
Monday’s ruling comes 15 months after Eastwood’s team filed a pair of defamation lawsuits against three CBD manufacturers and marketers — Sera Labs, Greendios and For Our Vets — for saying he approved their products. The ads claimed Eastwood was “leaving Hollywood” to focus on his CBD business abroad.
The companies also sent out emails titled “Clint Eastwood Exposes Shocking Secret Today” with images of Eastwood during an interview with the Today Show purportedly pitching their CBD brands. The suit also named 10 online stores for allegedly optimizing search engine results to associate his name with their companies.
Eastwood’s team initially asked for $30 million in the suit, but the court rejected that figure back in June. Klausner awarded the $6.1 million figure after agreeing it was close to what Eastwood would have charged to represent the company during the past year.
Monday’s ruling was officially a default judgement after Mediatonas UAB ignored a court summons earlier this year. A call to a listed phone number for the company went unanswered. No further information was available on whether Eastwood’s team and U.S. authorities actually expect the Lithuanian company to pay the sum, or if there’s a realistic way to force them to from abroad.
Regardless, Eastwood said in a statement that he was pleased with the ruling.
“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,” Eastwood told the New York Post.
A representative for the Hollywood icon told the New York Times that Eastwood has no opinion on CBD products or the legal CBD industry.