GTA Throwback: When Lindsay Lohan sued Rockstar for stealing her likeness

Image credits: dailymail, gamespot
Image credits: dailymail, gamespot

The GTA franchise simply wouldn't be the industry juggernaut that it is today if it hadn't been as brash and utterly uncompromising in its approach. Rockstar Games, as a company, hasn't just involuntarily been involved in controversy, but seemed to have even been encouraged to do so, sometimes even inviting controversy, especially when it comes to the Grand Theft Auto series.

The GTA franchise, throughout its has existence, has always been the talk of the town in conventional media. Time and time again, games in this franchise would be the subject of news debates and segments highlighting video games as the cause of violence.

While that narrative has indeed run its course, it is far from the only contention Rockstar has been the subject of. Soon after the launch of GTA 5, famous actress Lindsay Lohan sued the organisation for supposedly stealing her likeness.

Lindsay Lohan sues Rockstar for stealing her likeness for the cover of GTA 5

Iimage credits: gamespot
Iimage credits: gamespot

According to the lawsuit filed by the American actress, Rockstar's use of that particular picture was an "invasion of privacy". Lohan would go on appeal her case against the company multiple times on the same grounds, and judges would rule against her each time.

In his ruling, New York judge Eugene Fahey wrote:

"[The] artistic renderings are indistinct, satirical representations of the style, look and persona of a modern, beach-going young woman... that is not recognisable as plaintiff."

The GTA fanbase even went into full detective mode, trying to figure out whether Lohan's claims were justified when she alleged that Rockstar had indeed stolen her likeness.

Image credits: thedailydot
Image credits: thedailydot

While Lohan didn't necessarily have the judges rule in her favour, the fanbase seemed to agree that the picture indeed bore resemblance, but not to her. Several subreddits and message boards concluded that top American model Kate Upton's likeness had indeed inspired the character on the cover of GTA 5.

Shelby Welinder would confirm with she was indeed contracted by Rockstar (image credits:
Shelby Welinder would confirm with she was indeed contracted by Rockstar (image credits: apmmodels)

However, that would also be proven wrong, as model Shelby Welinder later revealed that she was contracted by Rockstar to model for the cover of GTA 5. On a since-deleted Instagram post, Welinder posted a picture of the invoice detailing her work for Rockstar as a model for the cover of the game.

Thus, the mystery identity of the girl on the beach would finally be put to rest.

Edited by Ravi Iyer
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