Clint Eastwood wants it known that, contrary to what you may have seen on the internet, he is not endorsing CBD products.
The director filed two federal lawsuits on Wednesday, alleging that his name has been illegally used to sell oils, gummies, and other products containing cannabidiol — a compound derived from hemp and marijuana.
In one of the suits, Eastwood cites a fake news article that claims he is “stepping away from the spotlight” in order to devote more time to his CBD products.
“Mr. Eastwood does not have, and never has had, any association with the manufacture, promotion, and/or sale of any CBD products,” the lawsuit states.
The suit targets the manufacturers of products marketed as “Euphoric CBD,” “Sera Relief,” and “Patriot Supreme,” and states claims of defamation, trademark infringement, false advertisement and violation of his right of publicity.
The second suit goes after another group of individuals and business entities, claiming that Eastwood’s name has been inserted in the metadata for various CBD websites.
“By using Mr. Eastwood’s name in hidden metatags, Defendants have figuratively posted a sign with Mr. Eastwood’s trademark in front of their online store to attract consumers and caused the consuming public to believe that Mr. Eastwood is associated with and/or endorsed the CBD Online marketplace Defendants’ CBD products, when no such association actually exists,” the suit states.
The suits resemble a similar “endorsement theft” claim filed last year by Ellen Degeneres and Sandra Bullock, in which they alleged that affiliate marketing networks had used fake quotes to sell anti-aging creams online.
The Federal Trade Commission warned consumers about such false articles in 2017, citing fraudulent stories claiming that Stephen Hawking and Anderson Cooper had endorsed “brain booster” pills.
Last year, the FTC also sent warning letters to CBD companies that allegedly made false health claims.
Eastwood’s representative said he is not taking a position about the CBD industry, but rarely endorses anything.
“Mr. Eastwood does not express a point of view about CBD products or the legitimate CBD industry,” the rep said. “The issues in these lawsuits center on the illegal use of Mr. Eastwood’s name and likeness, and dissemination of false and defamatory statements about him, to sell someone else’s products.”