In a recent ruling by New York Supreme court Judge Joan Kenney, Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against Take-Two and Rock Star will not be dismissed and continue through the legal system, up to and possibly including a trial. At the core of this fight is the character ‘Lacey Jonas’, a young actress and stereotypical entitled glitterati with a drug and sex addiction in Grand Theft Auto 5.
The lawsuit was first filed in 2013 in New York by lawyers representing Lindsay Lohan who argued that the character was based entirely on her. The main grievance put forward was that production company Take-Two and developer Rock Star had “misappropriated” Lindsay Lohan’s “…image, likeness, voice and persona without consent from the Plaintiff purely for commercial trade purposes and financial gain.”
Take-Two and its subsidiary Rock Star are no stranger to lawsuits and controversy, pulling in legal challenges from celebrities, irate consumers, anti-violence crusaders, and government officials (including possible Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton).
Most of these lawsuits were deemed nuisances and dismissed. Take-Two’s legal team argued as much, stating that Lindsay Lohan’s suit was nothing more than a means to gain attention. However in this case, Judge Kenney is ruling otherwise on the grounds that the evidence provided by Take-Two and Rock Star for dismissal was insufficient by itself without further review.
The validity Lindsay Lohan’s claims that the Lacey Jonas’s likeness, and therefore the character itself, are based entirely on her are up to debate. Rock Star had hired model Shelby Welinder to serve as the baseline for the character. Further, shortly after the lawsuit was filed in 2014 news agency Inquisitor reported that the contested image was actually much closer to a photograph of a bikini-clad Kate Upton. In any case, the lawsuit will most likely add to the debate regarding to what extent to parodies of celebrity likenesses and/or personalities can be used in video games.
What do you think of Lohan’s case? Do you think Take-Two will have to pay? Share your thoughts in the comments below!More About This Game