Hollywood actor-director and all-around celebrity, the 90-year-old Clint Eastwood sued several CBD (cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive extract of a hemp plant) companies and marketers after discovering that they used his name and a fabricated interview to promote sales. Eastwood bluntly asserted that he has never been involved in any cannabis businesses. In two federal lawsuits, Eastwood seeks a fistful of dollars in damages and a jury trial for violating his publicity rights, false endorsement, trademark infringement, and defamation, among other claims.
In the first suit, a fake news article claimed that Eastwood had walked “away from the spotlight to put more time into his wellness business.” Yet, according to the Complaint, “Mr. Eastwood has no connection of any kind whatsoever to any CBD products.”
In the second suit, Eastwood claimed that CBD companies and their affiliated online marketers used his name in blog posts and webpages to manipulate searches and drive up sales. Eastwood believes that these companies are fraudulently profiting off his name.
Jokes aside, his claims have merit. The law is clear, nobody can use your likeness without permission to sell their products for a few dollars more.
According to the LA Times, “The Better Business Bureau said in December millions of consumers are being scammed with fake endorsements and such scams have cost consumers more than $1.3 billion in the last decade.”