08/13/2004 at 08:00 AM EDT
This must have made Clint Eastwood's day: the 74-year-old Oscar-winning director and actor has settled a libel suit against the writer of an unauthorized biography who claimed Eastwood had abused his former wife, Maggie Eastwood, the Associated Press reports.
Patrick McGilligan, author of Clint: The Life and Legend, had written that Eastwood "cold-cocked" and "decked" his ex-wife, based on the tape-recorded accounts of a former Eastwood associate who claimed to have witnessed the abuse. But that associate later recanted his statements in a sworn affidavit.
Eastwood filed a $10-million libel suit against McGilligan and publisher St. Martin's Press in 2002, leading to the settlement, which was announced Thursday. The deal calls for the offending remarks to be removed from future editions, as well as other undisclosed terms.
The legendary actor – who had a brief stint as mayor of Carmel, Calif., in the late 1980s – has been mainly focused on directing films these days. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for 2003's Mystic River, and he previously won that award for his 1992 picture, Unforgiven.