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Lindsay Lohan loses Grand Theft Auto V lawsuit on appeal

It's game over for the actress, as an appeals court finds a game character Lohan called her "unequivocal" likeness is rather a "generic ... twentysomething woman."

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
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Leslie Katz
2 min read

Lindsey Lohan's Grand Theft Auto lawsuit has run out of lives.

The New York Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that images of "a modern, beach-going" woman in Grand Theft Auto V aren't identifiable as Lohan. The ruling affirmed a decision from a lower state appeals court dismissing the lawsuit, filed in 2014. In the suit, the "Mean Girls" actress charged Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive Software with violating her privacy by using her "unequivocal" likeness in the game without permission.


Not a portrait of Lohan, an appeals court rules. 

Rockstar Games

The GTA V character in question, Lacey Jones, described herself as an "actress slash singer" and the "voice of a generation." In one mission, she hides from the paparazzi in an alley before asking players who find her to help her escape the photographers by driving her home. 

The avatar has reddish-blond hair and is seen in one image cited in the suit wearing a red bikini, holding a cell phone and flashing a peace sign. A similar real-life snap of Lohan did make the media rounds. In another image, Jonas wears denim shorts, a fedora, large sunglasses, and a white T-shirt while being frisked by a female police officer. Lohan has, of course, had her share of run-ins with police

The state appeals court, however, rejected Lohan's appeal by a a 6-0 vote, calling the Jones character a "generic ... twentysomething woman without any particular identifying physical characteristics." 

The ruling (PDF) did find that CG images can legally be called "portraits," but said the images in question didn't represent portraits of Lohan.

Lohan's lawyer Frank A. Delle Donne did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

GTA V launched in September 2013 on the PlayStation and Xbox 360, generating over $1 billion in revenue in just 72 hours