Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto series is known in part for its tongue-in-cheek take on pop culture. Each game is packed with parodies, jokes, and thinly veiled versions of fictional characters and, occasionally, real people. For actress Lindsay Lohan, the ribbing went a little too far in Rockstar’s most recent entry in the series, Grand Theft Auto V.
The actress claims Rockstar crossed the line by including a character who she claims bears a too-close resemblance to her. To make it right, she’s suing Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive, for using her image and creating a character based on her without her permission. The damages she seeks are unspecified.
If any video game is a high profile affair, it’s Grand Theft Auto V, which was released in September for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. The game is slated for release later this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.
The GTA V character at the center of the lawsuit is an actress named Lacey Jonas, who appears only briefly in an optional side-mission in the game. The character shows up at random as you drive around the fictionalized city of Los Santos, and tells your character she’s having trouble with aggressive paparazzi. If you choose, you can drive her home, during which a conversation takes place that suggests she’s extremely famous and probably has an eating disorder. You can watch a video of the whole scene here.
The game’s promotional materials also depict a cartoon version of a young blond woman in a bikini flashing a peace sign and holding a cell phone — a shot that bears a striking similarity to an existing image of Lohan. Here are the two images side-by-side.