NEW YORK - Actress Lindsay Lohan is suing the creators of ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ over a character she contends is an unsanctioned virtual version of herself. Lohan filed suit in New York on Wednesday, her 28th birthday, accusing publisher Take-Two Interactive and studio Rockstar Games of weaving her persona into GTA V without her permission. Take-Two is based in Lohan’s birthplace, New York City. Lohan’s lawsuit argues that her privacy was violated by imbuing her likeness into a character and creating a ‘Lindsay Lohan look-alike side mission’ to promote the videogame. The suit asks for unspecified damages, contending the actress is being caused ‘great and irreparable hardship.’
GTA V was released in September, with versions of the blockbuster game tailored for play on PlayStation and Xbox consoles as well as on computers powered by Windows software.
The lawsuit noted that GTA V features scenes set in a virtual West Hollywood hotel where Lohan got into high-profile controversey over a big tab that reportedly went unpaid. Take-Two told AFP that it would not comment on the legal matter in keeping with its policy regarding lawsuits. GTA V raked in more than a billion dollars in a record-shattering first three days on the shelves for the unabashedly violent video game. ‘Grand Theft Auto is a cultural phenomenon, and Rockstar Games continues to redefine what can be achieved in interactive entertainment,’ Take-Two chief executive Strauss Zelnick said at the time.
Take-Two’s unit Rockstar Games spent five years crafting the title, with a rumored production budget of $270 million, and the time has paid off for gamers, according to a slew of reviews giving it top marks. The GTA franchise has won legions of fans and cadres of critics with game play in which triumph depends on acts such as carjacking, gambling and killing. Play in Grand Theft Auto games has included simulated sex with prostitutes and drunken driving. The latest version is said by reviewers to be rife with more of the same, along with profanity-packed dialogue.
The fifth installment in the GTA series is set in a fictional city of Los Santos based on real-world Los Angeles and its nearby hills and beaches. Rockstar said that GTA V ‘focuses on the pursuit of the almighty dollar’ in a re-imagined Southern California.
It was billed by Take-Two as the ‘largest and most ambitious’ title in a franchise that has sold more than 114 million copies since its debut in 1997. Fans say GTA appeals with captivating story lines and an open-world format that lets players go wherever they wish in game worlds, noting that players can rob banks, take a yoga lesson or fly a plane, as well as play with or against one another online.