Court Rules Video Game Didn't Steal Lindsay Lohan's Likeness

Actress sued publisher of 'Grand Theft Auto' series in 2014
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2018 3:47 PM CDT
In this Oct. 16, 2016 file photo, actress Lindsay Lohan appears at the opening night of the Lohan Nightclub in Athens, Greece.   (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis, File)

(Newser) – It's game over for Lindsay Lohan's lawsuit against the publisher of the Grand Theft Auto video game series. Reuters reports the New York Court of Appeals voted 6-0 on Thursday to toss the actress' lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive. Lohan had accused Take-Two of violating her privacy rights by using her likeness for a character in Grand Theft Auto V. In the game, the character, Lacey Jonas, calls herself "really famous" and an "actress slash singer." Lohan claimed the game included references to Mean Girls and the hotel where she lived. The lawsuit was filed in 2014 and a judge originally ruled it could go forward, but that decision was overturned in 2016 by an appeals court that ruled Lohan's privacy wasn't violated because the game didn't use her actual name, portrait, or picture.

While the New York Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled video game avatars could indeed violate a person's right to privacy and should be treated the same, legally speaking, as images in photographs, they also ruled that wasn't the case when it came to Lohan and GTAV. "Here, the Jonas character simply is not recognizable as plaintiff inasmuch as it merely is a generic artistic depiction of a 'twenty something' woman without any particular identifying physical characteristics," the court's opinion states. "The ambiguous representations in question are nothing more than cultural comment that is not recognizable as plaintiff and therefore is not actionable." The court also dismissed similar claims against Take-Two by Mob Wives star Karen Gravano, Bloomberg reports.

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