Lindsay Lohan is moving forward with her lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive over the depiction of the character Lacey Jonas in GTA V, whom she believes is a direct ripoff of her likeness. While most people thought the judge would throw out the case, the judge instead decided to move forward with it.
Geek.com is reporting that New York Supreme Court Judge Joan Kennedy looked over the evidence presented and decided to decline Take-Two's request to throw the case out, which is a very unlikely outcome for the situation. According to Judge Kennedy...
Defendants have not been able to prove, at this juncture of the litigation, that the republication exception to the one year statute of limitations is not applicable to this case because the intended audiences were the same as those of the original publication and the images consistently remained the same,
The judge also claimed that the images of the GTA V in-game character Lacey Jonas don't disprove that it isn't supposed to be a direct ripoff of Lindsay Lohan. The names do sound similar and the pronunciation of both names – given that both have the same amount of syllables and both start with the letter 'L' – gives some small amount of semblance between the two... but only if you squint and mumble out both names.
However, given that GTA V is a satirical take on American culture it's not hard to see how a character like Lacey Jonas would be a riff on the kids/teenage starlets that America pumps out regularly, many of whom end up seeing their careers crash and burn due to bad business and personal decisions. The Lacey Jonas character is almost closer to the likes of Miley Cyrus or Hillary Duff than Lindsay Lohan, but you could say she's a mix of all three real life personalities.
The lawsuit from Lohan is still in the early stages but it's obvious the judge isn't letting this case go easily. Lohan originally filed the suit against Take-Two over GTA V back in late 2013, a few months after the game originally launched for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Lohan isn't the first to sue over her likeness being used in a game and she definitely won't be the last. Previously there was the family of an Angolan rebel chief who sued Activision over the depiction of the rebel chief in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. There was also former dictator Manuel Noriega suing for his likeness being used in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, but the judge threw out the case. It's funny because former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani praised the case being thrown out as an act of protecting creative freedoms. I wonder if the same will be said if they eventually side in favor of Take-Two against Lohan for GTA V?
For now the case is moving forward even though it's hard to actually see any real likeness between the two characters, but if the judge says that there's a case then there's a case.
GTA V has been available on the market since 2013 and is currently available for the Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.