The settlement is confidential, but Clint Eastwood’s $14 million libell suit over wife-beating claims is now a dead duck.

Hollywood icon and movie director Clint Eastwood has settled a $14.04 million libel lawsuit he launched over a biography that accused him of beating his wife, lawyers said today.

The actor and filmmaker in December 2002 sued the author of Clint: The Life and Legend, Patrick McGilligan, as well as the biography’s US publisher, St Martin’s Press, over allegations made in the book.

But the suit has been settled out of court after McGilligan and his publisher agreed to remove a reference to Eastwood beating his wife, lawyers said.

Eastwood – star of films such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars, and Unforgiven – had claimed that the book aimed to destroy his reputation.

Among the statements Eastwood objected to was an assertion made by a former associate in a taped interview that he saw the actor physically abuse his ex-wife, Maggie Eastwood.

The former associate later recanted his allegation in a sworn affidavit, and McGilligan and St Martin’s agreed to remove the statement from any future printings of the book, lawyers for both sides said.

The defendants also agreed to make other changes in future printings, the lawyers said in a statement.

The parties said a confidentiality agreement barred them from disclosing further details of the settlement.

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