Actress Lindsay Lohan has sued “Grand Theft Auto V” producer Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. in New York state court. Lohan alleges that the company copied her image, likeness, and details from her personal life for a character in the game without her consent.
Lohan's lawsuit claims that the character Lacey Jonas in the Grand Theft Auto V videogame closely resembles the real-life Lohan and that Jonas' side mission in the game incorporates personal details from the actress’ life. Moreover, Lohan claims that Take-Two and game publisher Rockstar Games promoted the new game in 2013 by advertising its “Lindsay Lohan look-alike side mission.”
Further evidence of the misappropriation of Lohan’s image, the complaint alleges, is that the Jonas character wears a number of items from Lohan's clothing line and also sports a similar haircut as the actress. Additionally, the game features the hotel where Lohan used to live, West Hollywood's Chateau Marmont hotel, a place she still frequently visits.
The complaint asserts that defendants are in “violation of Plaintiff’s statutory right of privacy pursuant to sections 50 and 51 of the New York Civil Rights Law.” The complaint also asserts that these sections of New York law “prohibit the use of a person’s name, portrait, picture, or voice for the purpose of advertising or trade without the written consent of the subject.” Lohan seeks punitive and other damages, as well as a ruling barring the companies from using her image, name, likeness, and voice.
The case is Lindsay Lohan v. Take Two Interactive Software, Inc. et al, case number 156443/2014, in the New York County Supreme Court.
Tip: Before using a celebrity’s likeness for a commercial purpose, consider seeking permission or a license, or risk facing a lawsuit.