Originally created 08/14/04

Clint Eastwood settles libel suit



LOS ANGELES -- Clint Eastwood settled a libel lawsuit against the writer and publisher of an unauthorized biography he said portrayed him as a wife abuser.

As part of the settlement, announced Thursday, the book's author and publisher agreed to remove a reference to Eastwood beating his former wife, Maggie Eastwood, as well as other statements the actor-director said were false and defamatory.

Eastwood filed the $10 million libel action in 2002 against Patrick McGilligan, who wrote "Clint: The Life and Legend." Eastwood also sued the book's publisher, St. Martin's Press.

The suit, filed in San Jose federal court, said McGilligan wrote that Eastwood, who won the best director Oscar for the film "Unforgiven," "cold-cocked" and "decked" his first wife.

A former associate of Eastwood told McGilligan in a tape-recorded interview that he saw the actor physically abuse his former wife.

The associate later recanted his remarks in a sworn affidavit.