Scandal-studded starlet Lindsay Lohan officially filed her much-threatened lawsuit against Rockstar Games, developers of the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto series, last Wednesday. The twenty-eight year old star of Mean Girls contends that a non-player character in the latest installment, Grand Theft Auto V, is an obvious, unsubtle violation of her likeness rights.
In the game, players encounter Lacey Jonas, a young and media-hounded actress, while attempting to flee from hordes of devoted paparazzi. In the suit, Lohan accuses Rockstar of using her image, her voice and her clothing line in an attempt to sell more games without the actresses sanction.
“The portraits of the Plaintiff,” reads the suit, “incorporated her image, likeness, clothing, outfits, Plaintiff’s clothing line products, ensemble in the form of hats, hair style, sunglasses, jean shorts worn by the Plaintiff….” The lawsuit goes on to clarify that these products were on sale for a full two years before the game was released.
In addition, the game features the Chateau Marmont specifically, a hotel in West Hollywood that Lohan was famously banned from after racking up a staggering $46,000 in unpaid charges.
Whether or not Lohan and her attorneys actually have a case here or whether Rockstar is protected under parody law remains to be seen. Many fans of the game are calling this a publicity stunt or a cash grab, accusing Lohan of simply wanting a piece of an extremely popular franchise.
This isn’t the first time the actress has raised a fuss about her likeness being used without permission. In September 2010, Lohan and E-Trade Bank settled out of court, regarding an unlicensed reference to her name used during one of their Super Bowl commercials.
At press time, Grand Theft Auto V recently broke international sales records, earning a monumental $1 billion in its opening weekend alone. Rockstar Games has not yet released a statement regarding Lohan’s lawsuit.