The saga of Lindsey Lohan pursuing legal action against Take-Two Interactive appears to finally be over after multiple appearances in court. The case has been dismissed by the highest court in New York, although the dismissal is paired with a ruling that could have future implications.
The lawsuit, which was originally brought against Take-Two in 2014, alleges that the character Lacey Jonas in Grand Theft Auto V was not just a parody of Lindsey Lohan, but an unlawful use of her likeness. The character only appears in one event in the game, called “Escape Paparazzi.”
The case was allowed to move forward despite a request for dismissal, but the New York Supreme Court ultimately ruled in Take-Two’s favor. The case went to New York’s appellate division, and then finally the Court of Appeals on March 29, 2018, where the decision was upheld.
The Court of Appeals focused on whether or not the Lacey Jonas character constituted a “portrait” of Lohan. While that ultimately didn’t happen, the interesting part is that the Court of Appeals did rule that a “video game avatar” could in theory represent a portrait, therefore holding games to the same standard as photographs and other media in terms of likeness.