Lindsay Lohan’s Video Game Lawsuit Tossed

     NEW YORK (CN) – A New York appeals court threw out Lindsay Lohan’s complaint accusing video game makers of plundering her likeness in “Grand Theft Auto V.”
     Lohan sued Take-Two Interactive Software and Rockstar Games, the makers of the hit videogame franchise “Grand Theft Auto,” in summer 2014 for allegedly using her image in advertising materials.
     She said the “GTA V” character Lacey Jonas copied her “bikini, shoulder-length blonde hair, jewelry, cell phone, and ‘signature peace sign’ pose” without her permission, according to her original complaint. Karen Gravano, a star of the reality show “Mob Wives,” was a co-plaintiff.
     The software companies’ motion to dismiss noted that Lohan had a “history of misusing the legal system,” making reference to her failed 2013 defamation lawsuit against rapper Pitbull over his line “I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan.”
     The state court denied the motion to dismiss, but the Appellate Division’s First Judicial Department reversed in its Sept. 1 ruling.
     Calling the “GTA V” video game a work of fiction and satire, the five-judge panel dismissed Lohan’s claims, because “this video game does not fall under the statutory definitions of ‘advertising’ or ‘trade.'”
     The appellate court also found that the images in the advertising were not actually Lohan herself “but merely the avatar in the game that Lohan claims is a depiction of her.”
     “Defendants also never referred to Lohan by name or used her actual name in the video game, never used Lohan herself as an actor for the video game, and never used a photograph of Lohan,” the court added in its unsigned opinion.
     The court’s decision cited the precedent of Costanza v. Seinfeld, a 1999 lawsuit in which Michael Costanza sued comedian Jerry Seinfeld for allegedly basing the neurotic “Seinfeld” character George Costanza on his life. In that case, the court also found that Costanza’s claim failed because Seinfeld did not use Costanza’s name or image. A state court dismissed Costanza in 1999, and the appellate court upheld the decision in 2001.
     Representatives from Take-Two and Rockstar Games declined to comment on the current proceedings. But in the 2014 motion to dismiss, attorney Jeremy Feigelson with Debevoise and Plimpton in New York City deflated Lohan’s claims. “Lindsay Lohan complains that her image and persona have been wrongfully used by Take-Two in the video game ‘Grand Theft Auto V,’ but her claim is so legally meritless that it lacks any good-faith basis and can only have been filed for publicity purposes,” he wrote.
     Lohan was represented by Robert Pritchard with The Pritchard Law Firm. Thomas Farinella of the Law Office of Thomas A. Farinella represented Karen Gravano.

%d bloggers like this: