Clint Eastwood Wins $6.1M Cannabis Lawsuit

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Damir Mujezinovic

Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood won on Friday a $6.1 million lawsuit against a Lithuanian cannabidiol (CBD) company that used his image and likeness without permission.

The company ran online advertisements that made it seem as though Eastwood was endorsing their products, as reported by The New York Times.

Eastwood and Garrapata -- the company that owns the rights to his likeness -- filed last year two lawsuits in federal court in Los Angeles against three CBD manufacturers and marketers whose ads falsely implied that the famous actor endorsed their products.

Read more below.

Misleading Ads

One of the ads published by the company Mediatonas UAB was essentially an online article that contained a fake interview with Eastwood. The article included a photo of the actor and links to buy CBD products.

The court documents said that Eastwood "has no connection of any kind whatsoever to any CBD products and never gave such an interview."

Judge Gary Klausner of United States District Court for the Central District of California entered a default judgment because Mediatonas failed to respond to a summons in March.

Eastwood Awarded $6M

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In the end, Eastwood and Garrapata were awarded $6 million. In addition, Mediatonas was ordered to pay $95,000 in attorneys’ fees and cease using the famous actor and director's likeness in its CBD ads.

Eastwood's lawyer Jordan Susman welcomed the court's decision, releasing the following statement.

"In pursuing this case, and obtaining this judgment, Mr. Eastwood has again demonstrated a willingness to confront wrongdoing and hold accountable those who try to illegally profit off his name, likeness, and goodwill."

Mediatonas did not respond to requests for comment from The New York Times.

Defamation

Eastwood and Garrapata also alleged that the Lithuanian company is guilty of defamation, but Judge Klausner dismissed this.

"It requires additional context to understand what CBD products are and why a person like Clint Eastwood would not endorse a marijuana-based product," Klausner wrote.

The judge added that the language that was used in the advertisements "was not libelous on its face."

News of Eastwood, who is 91 years old, winning the lawsuit broke as the actor was promoting his latest film Cry Macho, a western based on the 1975 novel of the same name.

Cannabis Industry

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Though Eastwood apparently has no interest in the cannabis industry, some Hollywood stars have entered it.

Notably, as Cannabis Business Times reporter, actor and comedian Jim Belushi has his own cannabis farm.

"I think [cannabis] medicine across the board is not only for Alzheimer's, headaches, PTSD, seizures, backaches and pain, but it also enhances the taste of food, the touch of your lover's skin, the sound of music," Belushi said in a recent interview.

"I believe that hemp CBD is our avenue to the curious new consumer," he added.

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