A New York State appeals court Thursday threw out a lawsuit against the makers of “Grand Theft Auto V,” finding that a purported parody of Lindsay Lohan was protected speech under the First Amendment.
Lohan sued Take-Two Interactive Software in 2014, claiming that the game featured a character that copied her “bikini, shoulder-length blonde hair, jewelry, cell phone, and ‘signature peace sign’ pose” without securing her permission.
Karen Gravano, a star of the reality show “Mob Wives,” also sued the game-maker, contending that a character that seemed to be based on her violated her right to privacy.
But in its ruling Thursday, the court found that the game contains original storylines and dialogue, rendering it a work of “fiction or satire” deserving of First Amendment protection.
The court also noted that the game does not include any explicit reference to Lohan or Gravano.
“As to Lohan’s claim that an avatar in the video game is she and that her image is used in various images, defendants also never referred to Lohan by name or used her actual name in the video game, never used Lohan herself as an actor for the video game, and never used a photograph of Lohan,” the court ruled.
Gravano’s attorney, Thomas Farinella, told Reuters, “We’re clearly disappointed and are exploring our options.”