Peace Out: Lindsay Lohan’s GTA V Lawsuit Dismissed

Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive (the parent company of Rockstar Games) has been dismissed. The case was over images on official Grand Theft Auto V [official site] marketing material and a character in the game called Lacey Jonas, both of which Lohan claimed were based on herself.

As per the original filing (which I’ve embedded below), Lohan claimed that Rockstar “misappropriated Plaintiff’s image, likeness, voice and persona without consent from the Plaintiff purely for commercial trade purposes and financial gain.”

I’m going back through the filing now and one of the specific claims is that Rockstar announced Lohan’s name “in association with a ‘look-a-like side mission’ which can be found inter alia in gaming blogs”. I’ve been trying to find a source for that as none is given but all I found was this entry on a gaming blog via an IGN blog on the subject. That blog entry doesn’t appear to be quoting anything official when it says that – it’s just part of the author’s prose as far as I can see.

There are also a bunch of other complaints which I kind of enjoyed reading through just because of lines like “The Defendant(s) knowingly and purposefully evoked Plaintiff’s likeness, and appropriated her images as demonstrated in Exhibit A-2 in which the Plaintiff wore her hat with there being multiplicities of photos, photo shoots where the Plaintiff wears the Fedora style hat”. Oh, and “The Plaintiff has been using the peace sign hand gesture for years before and after its use in the video game”.

If you want to see a variety of pictures of Lohan making a peace gesture just scroll down the filing. I’m also really fond of the inclusion of an article from Time’s website by Sarah Miller as supporting evidence which begins “I’m no legal expert” and then offers an opinion on the claim which is wonderfully backhanded in its support of Lohan.

“If demanding is too broad a category to make GTA 5’s work “unequivocally” Lohan-inspired, then there’s the arrogance: Lacey shouts “I’m really famous!” and is generally appalled that the motorcyclist doesn’t know who she is. Only a few actors have been caught pulling the fame card, Lindsay among them. (Lindsay’s mother Dina even asked someone “Do you know who I am?”)”

Anyway, the lawsuit was about violation of rights to privacy – particularly the New York Civil Rights Law sections 50 and 51. Those sections cover using the name, portrait, or picture of a living person without their consent in that state.

Lohan was asking for damages, restraining the use of her image, likeness and voice, and so on.

SIDENOTE: I remember when I saw that red bikini picture on the GTAV marketing and assumed they’d hired Kate Upton for the job. That was actually a pretty popular theory – I don’t think I saw anyone even mention Lohan until she filed the lawsuit – but model Shelby Welinder then came forward as the inspiration for the image and offered up an invoice for her work as proof.

Anyhoodle! The decision on Lohan’s lawsuit was that the cause of action under Civil Rights Law section 51 must fail because Rockstar didn’t use her nam, portrait or picture:

“As to Lohan’s claim that an avatar in the video game is she and that her image is used in various images, defendants also never referred to Lohan by name or used her actual name in the video game, never used Lohan herself as an actor for the video game, and never used a photograph of Lohan”

The decision doesn’t actually ignore the idea of similarities, but it does point out that the claims should still be dismissed because “this video game does not fall under the statutory definitions of ‘advertising’ or ‘trade'”. It goes on to clarify that “works of fiction and satire do not fall within the narrow scope of the statutory phrases advertising’ and trade'”.

With regard to the advertising images, the decision also concludes that the claim should be dismissed. “The images are not of Lohan herself, but merely the avatar in the game that Lohan claims is a depiction of her”.

In case you’re wondering about the other plaintiff mentioned in the decision, Karen Gravano is one of the women featured in the US reality show, Mob Wives. She filed against Take-Two for similar reasons to Lohan, claiming that the game’s character, Andrea Bottino, is based on her. (Rockstar’s rebuttal of the latter’s claim included the developers making the point that Karen Gravano had never been kidnapped or buried alive.)

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  1. MrFinnishDude says:

    I’m honestly not surprised.
    I mean, did anyone honestly think that Lohan would ever really win that case?

    • Plank says:

      Not really, but that pick of her in a bikini does look a lot like that artwork of Lacy Jonas. Even more so if you flipped the pic of Lohan.

      • KevinLew says:

        It doesn’t matter. Just because a character looks like you doesn’t mean you can sue somebody over it. If this had worked, then anybody would be able to successfully sue anything that somewhat resembles them. Tekken could be completely shut down as they’ve got a number of characters that resemble celebrities.

  2. Plank says:

    In other news:

    Wheatley has been confirmed as new Crystal Maze host
    link to

    • soijohn says:

      Does Erik Wolpaw comes with him also ? If not, its only half of the Wheatley potato.

    • Creeping Death says:

      Oh. That’s a shame.

    • grimdanfango says:

      Ah, that would have been interesting enough news, if it weren’t for the David Tennant rumours flying around… which would have been a pretty awesome fit.
      Still, I’ll keep an open mind – I sincerely hope he manages to seeing what they do with it :-)

      • grimdanfango says:

        (I sincerely hope he manages to) make the role his own.
        I’m looking forward to (seeing what they do with it)

        • clippa says:

          Nyes, I take it they’ve ditched the whole enigmatic, charismatic host angle, then?
          At least it’s not David effing Tennant.

          • Guzzleguts says:

            Aw, I reckon Tennant would’ve been alright. I think Paul Foot would be a decent successor to R.O.B

  3. clippa says:

    Set the lawyers on this! – link to

  4. aircool says:

    There’s like, tons of women that look like that picture.

    Anyway, wasn’t the Lindsay Lohan character the one that got F’d in the A in the game?

    • lglethal says:

      F’d in the A? What you mean Flummoxed in the Atrium?

    • Sin Vega says:

      Seriously. Also until this news popped up earlier, I honestly couldn’t even tell you what Lohan looked like. I assumed she had dark hair, for a start.

      Besides which, even if the character is meant to be her in-game (I’ve no idea, not seen it), suing over what is obviously a parody (because GTA, duh) means either you’re a complete idiot or you have a lawyer who considers you nothing but a gullible bag of money.

      • invitro says:

        “you have a lawyer who considers you nothing but a gullible bag of money.” — Well, that’s what she is. A lawyer who didn’t realize such a basic part of his client’s personality wouldn’t be a very good lawyer, and Lindsay’s lawyers are probably quite good.

  5. Ivan says:

    I know this is just me, but that first image with the peace sign looks waaaaay more like Erika Christensen than Lindsay Lohan.

    To the point where I actually thought it was Erika Christensen, and not anyone else.

  6. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Doesn’t look like her on this page, a little more in-game. Behaviour is clearly like her or similar tabloid “stars”.
    Driving around drunk and having paparazzi get you for example.

  7. Cimeries says:

    The whole thing has amused me because it’s been Lindsay Lohan saying “this vacuous, self-obsessed, drunk driving, idiotic bimbo with absolutely no value to society and who exists solely as the butt of jokes in the GTA world is just like me!”

    Doesn’t she realise that every step of this just looks like her calling herself a daft knobhead?

  8. yogibbear says:

    Lindsay Lohan is broke. Pretty sure that’s why this case existed. Not because R* did anything bad.

  9. Michael Fogg says:

    I never realised the woman in bikini and the one being arrested by the stern police-lady were in fact meant to be one and the same. Anyway,the entire line of these promo images is pretty darn splendid, for video game marketing at least.

  10. racccoon says:

    This is typical of big corporations! they have deliberately gone and copied a star and are not willing or brave enough to offer any compensation from their ill gotten gains, instead they use all the lawyers in the world to show the world that they are cheaters and copy artists by using stars straight poses & printed dressed up copies without consent.
    Rockstar know what they’ve be doing and have been doing for years! and that’s blatant COPYING of all things!

    • horrorgasm says:

      Are you serious? “Copied a star”? I don’t remember general personality types being covered under any copyright/IP laws.

      You realize that if we followed through on your logic basically all comedy would cease to exist because any overemotional, braindead moron like you could just sue anyone that dared to mock them into the ground? Are you really that stupid?

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