Clint Eastwood has sued several companies he alleges fraudulently used his likeness to sell products containing an ingredient derived from the cannabis plant.
The revered Hollywood director and actor, 90, says his name was wrongly used in adverts promoting CBD oil, gummies and other products.
Online scams claimed Eastwood had retired from the film industry, according to two lawsuits filed in California, and was now focusing on his CBD business.
However, one of the lawsuits states: “Mr Eastwood does not have, and never has had, any association with the manufacture, promotion, and/or sale of any CBD products.”
The legal papers say Eastwood has been “fiercely protective” of his name and image throughout his career and has rarely promoted any products besides his films.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Eastwood, a Hollywood titan known for playing tough guy roles in films including Dirty Harry and Pale Rider, added: “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.”
Eastwood is seeking millions of dollars in damages, an award that would be “sufficient to deter unlawful conduct by defendants in the future”.
He is suing companies based in Florida, California and Michigan, alleging offences including trademark infringement and false endorsement.
According to one of the lawsuits, the alleged offences “amount to a wilful and conscious disregard for Mr Eastwood’s rights and are intentionally designed to capitalise on the goodwill, recognition, and fame” associated with the actor.
Eastwood is a double Oscar winner for directing the films Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. His most recent film, Richard Jewell, was released last year.