Clint Eastwood has launched legal action against a number of companies alleged to have falsely used his name and image to sell products using CBD, an ingredient derived from the cannabis plant.
The 90-year-old Hollywood star – known for starring roles in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and Dirty Harry – has filed two lawsuits setting out the claims in a Los Angeles court.
Lawyers for the double Oscar-winning actor and director – famous for telling an on-screen villain “Go ahead, make my day” – likened his stance to that of his tough guy film roles.
“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,” one of the lawsuits said.
They include allegations that companies have spread false articles reporting that Eastwood is leaving the film industry to focus on a CBD business.
The legal papers say Eastwood “does not have, and never has had” any part in the manufacture, sale or promotion of CBD.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, and is also derived from the hemp plant.
More from Clint Eastwood
Ennio Morricone: Composer of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly dies aged 91
Richard Jewell: New Clint Eastwood film accused of ‘maliciously’ portraying journalist
It was legalised in the US in 2018 and is often sold as a dietary supplement, or included in creams or ointments.
The lawsuits say Eastwood has been “fiercely protective” of his name and image throughout his career and has rarely promoted any products beside his films.
They allege defamation, trademark infringements and invasion of privacy, and seek unspecified damages and injunctions.
One lawsuit cites an online news article featuring a purported interview with the actor, falsely suggesting that he is developing a new CBD line and is “stepping away from the spotlight to put more time into his wellness business”.
A second alleges that programming code has been used illegally to insert his name into some online searches for CBD products.
Eastwood’s lawyer Jordan Susman said in a statement: “My client is not one to sit idly by as the defendants use his good name to dupe customers into purchasing products with which he has no affiliation.”
How safe is CBD and does it really work?
:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
The legal papers name nearly 20 small US-based companies, while also pointing to 60 others – currently anonymous – that may be named later.
One of those named, Sera Labs, said 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”.
It said its guidelines banned the use of such false claims in its ads and that it has severed all relationships with the advertiser, and urged others in the industry to do the same.