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Cancer, Abortion & Lawsuits: Inside Clint Eastwood's Dead Ex Sondra's Life Of Torment

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Dec. 14 2018, Published 7:52 p.m. ET

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RadarOnline.com broke the news Clint Eastwood's longtime lover Sondra Locke Anderson died November 3, 2018 at 74 years old, but the years leading up to her death were filled with heartbreak, disease, lawsuits and more. According to her death certificate exclusively obtained from Los Angeles Department of Public Health, her immediate cause of death was cardiac arrest due to breast and bone cancer, which she had been battling for three years. Locke dated Eastwood for over 13 years when they first met on the set of the film The Outlaw Josey Wales in 1972. After their relationship came to a halt, Locke filed a palimony suit in 1989 against Eastwood. Click through for more on Locke's life of secrets and scandals!

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Locke came from a broken home. Born on May 28, 1944 and raised outside Nashville in rural Shelbyville, Tennessee, she never knew her father.

sondra locke death life torment secrets scandals clint eastwood lawsuits abortion
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She was born to New York City native Raymond Smith, who was then serving in the military, and Pauline Bayne, a pencil factory worker from Huntsville, Alabama. Her parents separated before her birth. In her autobiography, Locke noted that "although Momma would not admit it, I knew Mr. Smith never married my mother."

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She fled the desolate town for Hollywood after her gay friend from Shelbyville, Gordon Anderson, helped her get discovered in a nationwide talent search. She lied about her age so she could play a 14-year-old in the drama. The friends married soon after but never consummated the marriage, according to legal documents. They never divorced and remained "like sister and brother" for decades.

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After some time in Hollywood in October 1975, Locke met Eastwood on set of The Outlaw Josey Wales and fell madly in love and eventually moved into a Bel Air mansion together.

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But the relationship fizzled out in 1987 and by April 1989, Locke filed the palimony suit against her partner of 14 years. A settlement of $1.5 million was included in the settlement — a three-year contract for her to work on films at Warner Bros.

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During the lawsuit hell, Locke was diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing chemotherapy following a double mastectomy.

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Locke discovered she had cancer in 1990. She had a breast removed later that year. What's more, she blamed Eastwood for causing the crisis by inflicting emotional cruelty on her, sources told the National Enquirer.

sondra locke death life torment secrets scandals clint eastwood lawsuits abortion
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Meanwhile, however, she claimed things turned sour when Warner Bros. didn't allow any of the 30 projects that she pitched. Locke insisted Eastwood secretly financed what she called the "bogus" deal.

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"It created a dead end for her career," her lawyer said at the time — so she sued him again in June 1995 for fraud, intentional interference with her ability to earn a living and breaching his financial duty to her. She testified her income in 1994 and 1995 was zero.

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After a two-week trial in September 1996, Locke settled again after seeking $2.5 million. "I don't have to worry about working," she said after the settlement, the terms of which were undisclosed. "The suit was never about money, it was about my fighting for my professional rights," she said to the media outside the courtroom.

"It was a happy ending" after "five years of torture."

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Around the same time of their nasty court battle, Locke charged that Clint cheated on her with other women, forced her to have two abortions and even convinced her to have herself sterilized. But an angry Clint declared to pals that Sondra was a "liar" who cared more about money than about him.

sondra locke death life torment secrets scandals clint eastwood lawsuits abortion
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Eastwood ultimately threw her out after 10 years. They two broke up in a blazing row at Christmas.

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Eastwood allegedly locked her out of her house, took her car and her pet parrot Putty and had all her possessions put in storage, a source exclusively told National Enquirer at the time. But even then Locke wanted to avoid going public with their dirty laundry. Finally she gave him an ultimatum. Said an informant: "In one last chance to hang onto any dignity she had, Sondra gave Clint 24 hours to give her back her house and agree on some financial support. "He wouldn't even call her 'Sondra.' He put his lawyer on the line and told him to refer to her as 'Mrs. Gordon Anderson,' her married name even though she hadn't been with her husband in 11 years, a source told the publication.

sondra locke death life torment secrets scandals clint eastwood lawsuits abortion
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"Sondra's last words to Clint were, 'Don't you remember me? I'm the woman who has loved you for 10 years, acted as your wife and given you my heart and my soul.' "

sondra locke death life torment secrets scandals clint eastwood lawsuits abortion
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Locke then began dating one of her surgeons, Dr. Scott Cunneen during her chemotherapy treatment. He was 17 years younger than Locke and moved in with her in 1991. Locke then remained under the radar until her death in 2018. Her body was buried at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary.

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