Late last year, Lindsay Lohan got high enough that she actually thought a character in Grand Theft Auto V was based off her likeness and she considered suing Rockstar Games over it. You know how it goes – cash starts running short and you have to get creative about how to get it flowing again.
Fast forward nearly 8 months and Lindsay, who actually made it to her 28th birthday earlier this week, has actually decided that this lawsuit is a good idea and that she’s got a leg to stand on. She claims that Lacey Jones, the character in question, is an “unequivocal” reference to herself.
“The portraits of the Plaintiff (Lohan) incorporated her image, likeness, clothing, outfits, Plaintiff’s clothing line products, ensemble in the form of hats, hair style, sunglasses, jean shorts worn by the Plaintiff that were for sale to the public at least two years” the suit claims.
Suing over a parody strikes me as a bad idea, no matter how desperate one’s situation. Whether Lohan is seeking extra publicity or a cash out on the best-selling video game of all time, it’s more than a little sad that she’d acknowledge that the character Lacey Jonas is a portrayal of herself.
According to the Digital Media Law Project: “As a general matter, you will not be held liable for using someone’s name or likeness in a creative, entertaining, or artistic work that is transformative, meaning that you add some substantial creative element over and above the mere depiction of the person. In other words, the First Amendment ordinarily protects you if you use someone’s name or likeness to create something new that is recognizably your own, rather than something that just evokes and exploits the person’s identity.”
I’m not a legal expert, but Rockstar seems to fall well within this guideline. The character in question was not specifically Lohan, and engages in entirely fictional activities that are designed to parody a certain type of celebrity. I sincerely doubt that this case has legs.
Hilariously, Forbes also points out that Lindsay actually left a $46,000 tab at the Chateau Marmont hotel (which Lacey visits in the game) and that she had to be banned from the premises for non-payment at the end of it. Yes, in real life.
She has no chance here, but nice try, girl.