Troubled Hollywood star Lindsay Lohan is reportedly taking legal action against the US parent company of Edinburgh games designer Rockstar North for allegedly “stealing” her image for Grand Theft Auto V.
Court papers filed yesterday at the Manhattan Supreme Court allege that game designers based a character in the fiction world of Los Santos on Lohan’s appearance, voice and designer clothing label.
The 28-year-old actress, who has had repeated run-ins with the law, had been threatening to take the company to court since late last year.
A lawsuit targeting Take-Two Interactive Software Inc alleges that the Grand Theft Auto V character Lacey Kunis is based on Lohan.
Court papers state: “The portraits of the Plaintiff [Lohan] incorporated her image, likeness, clothing, outfits, Plaintiff’s clothing line products, ensemble in the form of hats, hairstyle, sunglasses, jean shorts worn by the Plaintiff that were for sale to the public at least two years before the game was released.”
A scene in the game depicts the ditzy Kunis character running into an alley and asking a man on a motorbike for help to escape the paparazzi.
The character pleads: “Can you give me a ride past them, PLEASE! I’m hardly wearing any make-up.”
She then adds: “This is a disaster. I’m so f****** fat. How’s my hair? Do I look cute?”
The character then becomes abusive when the motorcyclist doesn’t recognise her.
“I’m really famous. I didn’t do anything,” she says. “This is my commute!”
The game also features the scene of one of Lohan’s past scrapes, the Hotel Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, where the star lived during the summer of 2012.
Lohan was reportedly banned from the hotel for running up an unpaid bill of $46,000.
Rockstar North did not provide comment when contacted yesterday.
A spokesman for Take-Two was quoted as saying: “It is our company policy not to comment on legal matters.”
Rockstar North boss Leslie Benzies made headlines in Edinburgh and across the world last week when he bought the historic St Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge for more than £500,000 to turn it into a community centre.
VIOLENCE AND SEX PREVALENT IN SUCCESSFUL FRANCHISE
Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit pits the Hollywood actress against the biggest name in video games. Rockstar North, founded in 1988 under the name DMA Design, is the company behind Grand Theft Auto, one of the most successful game franchises in history.
Launched in 1997, the first game in the series won notoriety for its extreme violence and sexual content, with subsequent instalments building on the same theme. The central premise is that players control gangsters who hijack cars and commit crimes.
The Edinburgh-based firm has snuck hints to its roots into the game’s fictional universe, with the Forth Bridge making an appearance in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.