As she threatened last year, Lindsay Lohan has made good on her promise to sue the creators of Grand Theft Auto V. In a complaint filed Wednesday, Lohan is accusing Take-Two Interactive Software Inc and Rockstar Games of creating a character called Lacey Jonas that is based on her likeness and persona. In the scene from the game, which you can see below if you haven’t already, and considering the demo of this site I’m going to presume you haven’t, the character has to be rescued from the paparazzi. Per the AV Club:
Furthermore, the suit claims that the Lacey character wears clothes that are modeled on Lohan’s own, including an “ensemble in the form of hats, hair style, sunglasses, jean shorts worn by [Lohan]”—clothing that is inextricably associated with her. (It’s why every time your dad wears jean shorts you can’t help but remark, “Wow, dad, you look just like Lindsay Lohan!”) Also mentioned in the suit is the game’s Gentry Manor Hotel, a stand-in for the Chateau Marmont Hotel where Lohan was banned after racking up an unpaid $46,000 bill. Should the lawsuit proceed, presumably Lohan hopes that this will also be recounted for the legal record.
The game, which came out in September of last year, has made over a billion dollars in revenue.
How likely is Lohan to win any of that money? Forbes speculates:
According to the Digital Media Law Project: “As a general matter, you will not be held liable for using someone’s name or likeness in a creative, entertaining, or artistic work that is transformative, meaning that you add some substantial creative element over and above the mere depiction of the person. In other words, the First Amendment ordinarily protects you if you use someone’s name or likeness to create something new that is recognizably your own, rather than something that just evokes and exploits the person’s identity.”