Actress Lindsay Lohan and “Mob Wives” personality Karen Gravano both lost court battles Thursday against the producers of “Grand Theft Auto” who they said used their images and life stories in the popular video game.
Both had claimed that “GTA” violated their privacy under the state civil rights law by “misappropriating” their likenesses, language, attire and life stories for commercial purposes without their permission or compensating them.
And lower courts refused to dismiss their cases as requested by “GTA’s” creator, Take-Two Interactive Software.
However, a panel of judges in the Manhattan Appellate Division said both cases must be dismissed because the software company did not use their actual names, voices or photos of the women and the video games do not “fall under the statutory definition of ‘advertising’ or ‘trade.’”
This video game’s unique story, characters, dialogue and environment, combined with the player’s ability to choose how to proceed in the game, render it a work of fiction and satire,” the judges said of Lohan’s claim.
They almost dismissed her contention that her image was used improperly to advertise the game because the images are “not of Lohan herself, but merely the avatar in the game that Lohan claims is a depiction of her.”
Lohan had argued that a ditzy character in GTA, Lacey Jonas, looked and dressed just like the “Mean Girls” actress, fled the paparazzi like Lohan and wore a line of accessories like the ones Lohan promoted two years before the game was released.
Gravano, the daughter of mobster Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, contended that the character Andrea Bottino looked like her, had her distinctive voice, used her expression, had a father like Gravano’s and acted out a story line of moving out West that mirrored Gravano’s fear of being sent into the witness protection program in Nebraska.
The panel of five judges combined both cases into one decision because they were so similar.