The Lindsay Lohan verses Grand Theft Auto V lawsuit is heating up.
The ‘Mean Girls’ actress this week filed a 67-page complaint against Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games that spells out the many reasons she believes they benefited from using her apparent likeness in the acclaimed open-world game. Rockstar’s legal team is challenging the allegation.
Lohan’s lawsuit over GTA V dates back to July, when she claimed that GTA V’s “Lacey Jonas” character was an “unequivocal” reference to her. For its part, ‘Take-Two Interactive’ maintains that Jonas and Lohan are similar only as far they are both young, blond women. Take-Two further asserts that Lohan is only suing for “publicity purposes.”
But this week, Lohan’s legal squad hit back, adding dozens of images to its complaint showing real-world photos of Lohan that she suggests Rockstar used as reference points for GTA V. According to the complaint, Rockstar “used a look-a-like model to evoke the persona and image” of Lohan by emulating a 2007 photo of Lohan.
Her legal team is also claiming that an image of blond character, which they claim is a reference to Lohan, was used in GTA V marketing material such as t-shirts and coffee mugs, as well as advertisements on billboards, posters, buses, buildings, and websites.
In addition, Lohan argues that GTA V does not represent “transformative” use of her likeness (which is protected free speech under the First Amendment) because Rockstar was interested in “financial gain” above all else.
“The Defendants were in the business of selling games as opposed to artists displaying artwork in galleries for profit where unauthorized images or portraits of individuals were reproduced in limited editions as opposed to the mass production for commercial promotion and financial gain,” reads a line from the complaint.
A Take-Two representative declined the comment.
GTA V launched in September 2013, generating over $1 billion in revenue in just 72 hours. The game has since shipped 34 million copies on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 alone. Sales are likely to only increase further, as the game is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in November.
Lohan’s lawsuit over GTA V is currently underway alongside former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega’s claims that Activision blatantly misused his likeness in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The issue of transformative use is at the heart of that case as well.