Back in 2014, actress Lindsay Lohan filed suit against Take Two Interactive, the makers of the popular Grand Theft Auto V video game, alleging that the game improperly used her likeness. As a refresher, Grand Theft Auto features a character named “Lacey Jones” who Lohan alleges is her doppelganger in more ways than one. In the game, the character eludes paparazzi, references the Lohan movie Mean Girls, mentions the West Hollywood hotel where Lohan once lived, and allegedly looks like Lohan. Such similarities Lohan alleges are a violation of her rights under New York civil rights laws. Take-Two moved to dismiss the suit for failure to state a claim, calling the suit “legally meritless” and requesting sanctions due to the obvious publicity grab.
So would this matter turn out just like the actress’s prior unsuccessful lawsuits against Pitbull and E-Trade? Well, no. Not yet, anyway. Last week, New York Supreme Court judge Joan Kennedy denied Take-Two’s motion to dismiss and ordered the company to file an answer to the complaint. Now, we get to look forward to TMZ reports on the discovery process some two years after the suit was filed.
We would like to congratulate Ms. Lohan and her legal team for making it past the treacherous pleading stage. \But, before Hollywood makes too big a deal out of this, let’s take notice of what this order means. Construing the allegations as true and viewing them in the light most favorable to her, Lohan sufficiently pleaded a cause of action for violation of the civil rights law. The Court has not issued a finding that any of the allegations have merit, only that the matter is deserving of being further litigated. With Lohan’s legal track record, we suppose that may be reason to celebrate.
If this case was the publicity ploy Take-Two suggested, it doesn’t appear to be too successful. We have played Grand Theft Auto many times over the last couple years, but we completely forgot about the lawsuit. We have also come across Lacey Jones plenty of times during the course of our gaming and, surprisingly, not once did we think about Lohan. Jones is way too entertaining.