Lindsay Lohan's Grand Theft Auto 5 Lawsuit Doesn't Have a Leg to Stand On [OPINION]
By now, you've no doubt heard or read that the actress turned train wreck Lindsay Lohan and/or her representation have been preparing, or at least considering a lawsuit against GTA developer Rockstar, over what Lohan feels is the company using her image, without her permission, in Grand Theft Auto V.
First of all, allow me to clarify that as of the time of this posting, this is all conjecture. Nothing has actually been filed, nor has Lohan or her representation issued a statement on the matter, and all we have to go on are "sources" claimed by TMZ. We've seen how this sort of thing doesn't exactly fold out before, but assuming it is true for the moment, it's hardly sturdy ground.
Provided TMZ's information is correct, Lohan would do well to stay far and away from threatening any sort of legal action. Let's examine why, shall we?
According to TMZ's "evidence," the logic behind the lawsuit consists of the following points:
- "The video game cover shows a woman holding a cellphone who looks Lindsay-ish. There's been debate over whether it looks more like Kate Upton or Shelby Welinder."
Ah yes, that young lady. You can actually see her on the game's cover in the picture above, sandwiched between the adorable pooch and the helicopter. She also appears in some of the game's loading screens, decked out in a red bikini, flashing a peace sign with one hand, and presumably taking a "selfie" with the game's counterpart to the iPhone, the iFruit. TMZ is correct, in that a bevy of babes have been presented as the possible inspiration behind her design, Upton perhaps chief among them. You could argue that Lohan might bear a passing resemblance to the cover girl, but there's just one problem.
DailyDot already determined her identity long before Lohan and her legal eagles were busy brainstorming any kind of action, and the reason why there's so much debate about the cover girl's resemblance to Welinder is because it IS Welinder. As the Dot reports, "The real woman who inspired GTA V's bikini gal was model Shelby Welinder. She was hired by video game producer Rockstar through her agency to model for the advertisement in the fall of 2012." The article even provides an invoice for her day's work with the game.
- "Part of the game features a mission where a Lindsay Lohan look-alike asks the player to take her home and escape the paparazzi."
This is one of the game's many random event missions. Interestingly, it's an interesting shift as player missions encourage players to act as paparazzi more often than not, rather than avoid them. Anywho, it's fairly straight forward mission. The young lady who Lohan and company feel represents her, "Lacey Jonas," is in something of a pickle, and wants to avoid the paparazzi as drat...she's not wearing any makeup! God forbid someone's actual face be seen by the public.
Just about every celebrity from the D-list to the A has had some kind of a run in with the paprazzi, and the Mean Girl's history the shutterbugs is well documented. But how else that Jonas somehow is a skewed portrayal of Lohan...that's difficult to say. Lacey, Lindsay, OK, the names are similar.
After some driving, there's some banter between the player and Jonas, who's apparently known for her "romantic comedies and cheerleading dance-off movies." I'm pretty sure that's a straight shot at the "Bring It On," and maybe "Step Up" franchises if you really wanted to reach. Neither franchise features Lohan. Romantic comedy? That's a bit vague, though Lohan's part as a selfish daughter who has a threesome with her mother and Danny Trejo in "Machete" did bring a tear to my eye and a warmth in my heart, so...maybe.
There's also some talk about Jonas being too skinny, too fat, which again, just isn't specific enough just to make her seem like a caricature of Lohan. Looking at the character model, there's nothing about it that screams Lohan, or any other self-obsessed actress or model littering tabloid papers and reality television. Don't believe me? See for yourself in the video below.
Frankly, the character could be a shot at any celebrity with a double X chromosome that's waltzed through pop culture in the last 5 years. Though, if I was a betting man, I'd have some money on ones with the last name of Hilton or Kardashian. Why? Well, keep reading.
TMZ's final piece of "evidence" is "another Lindsay-like character at a hotel resembling the Chateau Marmont hotel in West Hollywood -- a place Lindsay not only frequents but once lived at -- and the mission is to photograph her having sex on camera."
There've certainly been some more than a few shots of Lohan showing "The Canyons," but pics of her doing the horizontal shuffle out in God's country? Granted, TMZ knows more about celebrities than most, but I doubt that one would've escaped popular knowledge. As for the hotel, the Chateau Marmont is a Hollywood monument, and as Vinewood is a pastiche of Tinseltown, it'd be hard not to include it. The game already has its own versions of the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Bowl, wax museum, movie lots, Hollywood Boulevard, TCL Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame, etc.
Troubled celebrities and perverse stories have long been associated with the Marmont before Lohan arrived: John Belushi died of a drug overdose there; Howard Hughes supposedly spied on women in the pool with binoculars, and more. Lohan did indeed live there for a time, but she doesn't owe any bad press to a video game. She did that to herself. The hotel banned her in 2012 after racking up a bill in excess of $46,000. There's no mention of the celebrity players are tasked with photographing having any similar issues.
As for the target of players' reconaissance, this celebrity actually has something of a history with the franchise. The name is likely derived from pornographic actress Poppy Morgan, GTA's Poppy Mitchell first appeared in The Ballad of Gay Tony DLC for Grand Theft Auto IV. The actress found herself in a bit of hot water for sexting. Interestingly, Lohan did too, but the actress was nowhere to be seen when the DLC and Mitchell came on the scene. Also, Mitchell was "born" in 1989, while Lohan came into the world in 1986.
In GTA V, players would again try to get shots of Mitchell on a wild police chase, before she would ultimately crash into a tree and be led away in handcuffs. Lohan also found herself part of a police chase in 2007, where she, not Herbie, was found to be "fully loaded" with a .12 BAC. In 2012, she would completely total her Porsche while cruising down the PCH. Sounds pretty spot on, right?
Trouble is that a slew of other female cele-brats in the last few years have had similar bad luck with driving: Amanda Bynes, Kylie Jenner, Lea Michele, the list goes on.
There you have it. A few similarities, but nothing solid.
Suffice it to say, if these "points" are the best that Lohan and company have to offer, they'd do well to stay far away from entering a court room with Rockstar. On the flip side, say what you will about lawyers, but on average, they tend to be smarter than the average bear, and it's possible that Lohan's legal team is hiding a trump card up its sleeve. Still, I'm available for retainer should they feel the need to ask me any questions. My going rate is one habit with Lindsay's John Hancock I can pawn off on eBay.