Back in 2014, Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan filed a lawsuit regarding Take-Two Interactive. She claimed her physical appearance was used in Grand Theft Auto V, both in-game as well as for promotional material.
Initially, Lohan claimed the character of Lacey Jonas was based on her, later adding that the beach girl in the red bikini shown in loading screens was strongly resembling her. The latter was quickly proven false however, with sources stating a real-life model was used for the character in question.
Mob Wives actress Karen Gravano also sued the developers in that very same year, stating Andrea Bottino’s in-game character was heavily influenced by her likeness and her life in general. However, thanks to Kotaku, it has been made known that both of the court cases have now been tossed out altogether.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York – that’s a legal mouthful – has come forth saying the lawsuits “must fail because defendants did not use [plaintiffs’] name, portrait, or picture” in either Grand Theft Auto V or its promotional materials.
“As to Lohan’s claim that an avatar in the videogame 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 videogame, never used Lohan herself as an actor for the videogame, and never used a photograph of Lohan,” as states the ruling. “Even if we accept plaintiffs’ contentions that the videogame depictions are close enough to be considered representations of the respective plaintiffs, plaintiffs’ claims should be dismissed because this videogame does not fall under the statutory definitions of ‘advertising’ or ‘trade’. This videogame’s unique story, characters, dialogue, and environment, combined with the player’s ability to choose how to proceed in the game, render it a work of fiction and satire.”
In regard to Lohan swearing her image was used in promotional materials for Grand Theft Auto V, the court claims the images “are not of Lohan herself, but merely the avatar in the game that Lohan claims is a depiction of her.”