Lindsay Lohan's Pursuit of ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Lawsuit StallsBy
Actress Lindsay Lohan’s attempt to have the makers of "Grand Theft Auto" held liable for violating her privacy fizzled in New York’s top court.
The state Court of Appeals in Albany rejected Lohan’s request to reinstate her lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., in which she claimed the video game’s creators used her likeness without permission.
Images of a character named Lacey Jonas in "Grand Theft Auto V" aren’t recognizable as the "Mean Girls" actress, the court ruled Thursday. While the court said that avatars in a video game can be interpreted as a portraits under state law, it said the character, along with two other images in the game, is a "generic artistic description" of a 20-something woman, without any characteristics of Lohan.
"These artistic renderings are indistinct, satirical representations of the style, look and persona of a modern, beach-going young woman," the court said, noting it’s undisputed that the company didn’t refer to Lohan in the game and didn’t use a photograph of her.
The ruling is likely to boost video-game makers in fights with athletes and celebrities who claim their likenesses are being used without permission. It also follows a March 26 decision by a California state appeals court that threw out Dame Olivia de Havilland’s lawsuit claiming over her depiction in an FX Networks docudrama about a feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
The New York court also upheld a ruling dismissing a similar lawsuit to Lohan’s filed by Karen Gravano, the daughter of former Mafia underboss and FBI informant Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. She also alleged her likeness was used in the game.