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    Vindication for Clint Eastwood's Ex-Lover

    Did Clint Eastwood's longtime studio home make his ex-girlfriend's day?

    Can't say for sure yet, but this much is certain: Warner Bros. did reach an out-of-court settlement Monday with actress/director Sondra Locke, heading off her $100 million lawsuit.

    The deal came as jury selection was to begin in the breach-of-contract complaint.

    Locke's attorney sounded pleased with the turn of events--even as he declined to talk specifics. (No word yet from the Warners camp.)

    "Today's settlement allows [Locke] to reenter the business and to make a substantial contribution to her future life," lawyer Neil Papiano told Los Angeles' City News Service.

    Movie fans will remember Locke as Eastwood's on-screen steady in a string of flicks from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, including the orangutan-friendly action-comedy, Every Which Way But Loose (1978).

    Off-screen, the duo was a real-life couple, too. Their 14-year relationship ended (badly) in 1989 when Locke filed a palimony suit against the star. That court action was dropped when Eastwood set her up with a writing-directing deal at Warner Bros., the producer of his Dirty Harry films and others. It's that agreement that was the crux of the lawsuit against the studio.

    In a previous suit against Eastwood, Locke labeled the development pact a "sham."

    "After three years, she hadn't directed or produced anything," Papiano said Monday.

    The Locke camp alleged that Eastwood and Warners had a "side agreement" that essentially locked her out. The studio, Papiano said, had made a deal with Locke that "they didn't intend to keep."

    Eastwood settled Locke's fraud lawsuit against him in 1996.

    Locke has directed three theatrical films, including 1986's Ratboy.

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