Go ahead, make his payday.
Clint Eastwood, the 92-year-old actor, director, producer, and former mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, has won his second lawsuit against online marketers who used his likeness without permission. He was joined in the suit by the company Garrapata, an agency which owns the rights to Eastwood’s name and image outside of movies.
The latest verdict, which was handed down last week, awards Eastwood and Garrapata $2 million in damages. The claim was made against a California-based marketing company, Norok Innovation, which leveraged Eastwood’s celebrity status to drive online traffic—via a “hidden metatag game”—to a website selling CBD products. Fabricated news articles and manipulated search results made it appear as if Eastwood endorsed the products. The claim argued that these were “products he likely would have been unwilling to endorse in the first place.”
“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,” the suit, which was filed in January 2021, read.
Eastwood’s reps pointed out that the screen icon rarely endorses any product. Indeed, the only time he has done so in recent memory, the Halftime in America Super Bowl ad for Chrysler in 2012, became a major news item. (Eastwood claimed he took a fee far lower than what was awarded him in this lawsuit, because he believed in that ad’s message.)