Lindsay Lohan has been accusing Rockstar of taking her likeness and using it for Grand Theft Auto V for a number of years now, but it appears she might be at the end of a long legal journey with a dismissal.
The suit was originally filed shortly after the game’s 2013 release when the actress from Freaky Friday, Mean Girls, and a whole lot more alleged that Rockstar had invaded her privacy by using her likeness without her permission. She filed a lawsuit against Take-Two and Rockstar over the character of Lacey Jonas, which Lohan said was based on her, in New York.
Lohan’s suit was dismissed by a panel of five judges, who ruled that, even if the character resembled Lohan, it was not used for a purpose of advertising to make people think Lohan was in or marketing the game. Lohan’s lawyers appealed, which has also now also been dismissed by the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court.
The Court of Appeals acknowledged that video game depictions do constitute portraits under the state’s publicity laws, those depictions don’t appear in Grand Theft Auto V.
“We conclude a computer generated image may constitute a portrait within the meaning of that law,” wrote the court. “We also conclude, however, that the subject images are not recognizable as plaintiff, and that the amended complaint, which contains four causes of action for violation of privacy pursuant to Civil Rights Law §§ 50 and 51, was properly dismissed.”
This most likely puts an end to the legal battle between Lohan and Rockstar with few avenues left to pursue her case.
I always thought it looked a bit like Lohan, but not enough that it’s actionable. I wonder if this empowers Rockstar to not worry about celebrity likenesses with their future games or convinces them to back away from anything remotely similar.