On Thursday, New York State’s Court of Appeals rejected an appeal made by actress Lindsay Lohan, who had accused the developer of Grand Theft Auto 5 of having violated her privacy by including characters in the game that resembled her. The court, in its decision, denied Lohan’s claim that the characters resembled her.
In a 6-0 vote, New York’s highest court declared that the game characters created by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. were nothing more than cultural comments, and therefore the company did not owe Lohan any damages.
None of the parties involved in the dispute issued a statement or would comment in response to the ruling. This includes Lohan herself, her attorney Frank Delle Donne or representatives of Take-Two Interactive.
Lohan, who is 31 years old, starred in The Parent Trap made in 1998, and in Mean Girls, which was filmed in 2004. Though she has since had difficulties finding acting roles, largely due to legal and other issues. In the lawsuit, she complained about a number of the characters in the game, which she believes look and sound like her. This includes a character named Lacey Jones, who — while escaping from reporters — calls herself a famous actress/singer. Other game characters that Lohan insists look like her include a blonde woman that police frisk and one who wears a red bikini while taking a selfie.
Eugene Fahey, who was a judge in the case, said that a computer image or an avatar could in effect constitute a portrait, which could support Lohan’s claims of having had her privacy violated, as per New York State civil rights law. But, in his decision, Fahey stated that the characters in Grand Theft Auto 5 depicted a generic woman in her twenties, and that there was no suggestion in the game that these characters were in fact Lohan.
In a separate ruling, the same court dismissed similar claims made by Karen Gravano against Take-Two Interactive. Gravano, who is the star of a reality TV show called Mob Wives, claimed that one of the game characters resembled her, too.
The Grand Theft Auto series of video games has been wildly successful. It has so far sold in excess of 275 million copies.