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Clint Eastwood Sues for $10 Million Over Bio
SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) – “Dirty Harry” star Clint Eastwood has lodged a $10 million libel lawsuit against the author and publisher of an unauthorized biography, saying the book portrays him as a wife-beater, atheist and coward, his lawyer said on Thursday.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose late on Tuesday, also contends that author Patrick McGilligan and publisher St. Martin’s Press attempted to destroy Eastwood’s reputation in the book “Clint: The Life of a Legend.”
“Clint Eastwood is not only an icon in the entertainment industry but he is also a family man,” Marshall Grossman, Eastwood’s lawyer said. “He is entitled to have what is written about him be accurate and truthful.”
The book was published in the United States in August after being available for several years in Britain. Grossman said the suit was being filed now because the book was filled with errors and was harming Eastwood’s reputation.
Paul Sleven, general counsel for St. Martin’s Press, declined to comment because the case is in litigation but said the publisher was confident the book was accurate.
Author McGilligan, who has also written biographies of James Cagney, Jack Nicholson and Fritz Lang, also declined to go into much detail but said, “The book is fair and honest to the best of my ability.”
The suit said that the book falsely claimed that the 72-year-old actor “cold-cocked” and “decked” his first wife Maggie and that Eastwood, famed for his on screen tough-guy image, was “dead scared” to go to Korea during his military service.
The suit added that the biography falsely described Eastwood as using a romance with an officer’s daughter to avoid being sent overseas during the Korean War.
“Its lies do a serious disservice to the book’s readers, the public and most of all to Clint Eastwood himself, who has spent nearly a half a century building a reputation that defendants so intently — and unlawfully — attempt to destroy,” the suit said.
Along with $10 million, the suit also seeks punitive damages for “harming Eastwood’s reputation and standing in the community, mortification and embarrassment.”
“He is not one to sit idly by and permit somebody to deal with his reputation in this fashion,” Eastwood’s lawyer said of the actor.