Lindsay Lohan Sues Rockstar Games Over Grand Theft Auto V
We all know of the wacky headlines on the covers of Hello! and US Weekly that splash the newstands and catch our eyes while waiting in line at the grocery store. They're like a train wreck. It's not easy to look away.
Kris Jenner wants more than just Kardashian relevance? Gasp! Superstars don't always make the best moms? Shock! Sarah Palin's ghostwriter wrote another book about stupid things? You can't be serious!
While the drama of the Internet machine slows for no sphere of interest, Hollywood or Silicon Valley alike, very rarely do video games and movie stars mix.
Not to say that it doesn't. It happens. Angelina Jolie made a blip by being smoking hot in the film version of Tomb Raider. Several stars admitted to playing World of Warcraft like it was a shameful venereal disease. Ellen Page worked on Beyond: Two Souls and had her face plastered all over The Last of Us (even though developer Naughty Dog swears it's not her, honest).
But for the most part, Rihanna smoking a joint in the Bahamas and Miley Cyrus molesting teddy bears very seldom made their way onto front page gaming news.
Has-been A-lister Lindsay Lohan would like to change that - and not in a good (or even rational) way. Perhaps it's a testament to the impact Grand Theft Auto V has made, even outside the geek world, that its success has caught the attention of the once-redheaded Mean Girls alumna.
According to TMZ yesterday, Lohan has ordered her stable of lawyers to take action against Rockstar Games for using her image against her permission.
The various tiles in the game's cover are familiar to us by now - and The Girl In the Red Bikini is perhaps one of the most-discussed. This girl was based off of someone in real life, but who is it?
Fans have hotly debated the model's identity ever since the first images began filtering out of the Rockstar gates, and names like Kate Upton, Yvonne Strahovski, Shelby Welinder... pretty much any pretty blonde with a nice body and a two-piece in her closet keep coming up.
Not many people would have come up with the idea that the shapely blonde resembled Lindsay Lohan, although a quick search of the internet netted me an image of her that might bear some resemblance.
...But it's hard to say, since most people would argue that Lindsay Lohan only vaguely resembles Lindsay Lohan half the time.
(Lindsay sometime last year / Mean Girls premiere / unknown)
Nevertheless, the bottle blonde appears to insist that the Bikini Girl shares a distinct similarity - and she's going to demand some serious cash from Rockstar for using it.
It isn't just the girl on the cover. TMZ also notes other "evidence" of the case:
- Part of the game features a mission where a Lindsay Lohan look-alike asks the player to take her home and escape the paparazzi.
- Another part of the game shows 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.
What's this? A pretty blonde... a celebrity? Golden hair found at star-studded Chateau Marmont? Preposterous! It must be Lindsay.
Never mind that Shelby Welinder came out to gamers more than a year ago to let them know whose likeness Rockstar modeled the Red Bikini Girl after, going so far as to post a copy of an invoice showing that she was paid by Rockstar for a Rockstar video game.
Then she took it to the GTA V forums to make things perfectly clear:
"It's nice to see all these people referring to me as a porn star and a slut," Welinder said, "Quite entertaining to say the least. I worked for R* and signed a release that said I'd be listed in the game credits.
"I honestly don't care about that because: 1) Doesn't benefit my modeling/acting portfolio in anyway, 2) I received my check already, 3) I was just happy to work for this company (I grew up playing GTA)
"I can't figure how to post it on here directly (thought I could upload pic) but I'll post a picture of my check so people can stop trashing me.
"I received the job via my acting agency. I'm not accepting friend requests on FB, I can be followed on twitter but am very boring. Many thanks."
Fans continue to debate the likeness, but it's the most proof we've seen so far.
As for Lindsay... well, this is hardly her first time trying to get a piece of everyone's pie. Suing everyone and everything that even dares breathe her superstar name seems to be par the course for the veteran tabloid headliner. Last year Lohan took rapper Pitbull to court over his song "Give Me Everything" because of the line "locked up like Lindsay Lohan." The court ruled in Pitbull's favor.
Rockstar hasn't commented yet but if I were them... well, I'd need time to think up something suitable to say to Lohan too.