It’s inevitable. Whenever a new Grand Theft Auto launches, lawsuits soon follow.
This one’s a pretty big deal, though. According to a report in the New York Daily News, former Mob Wives star Karen Gravano (daughter of Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano) is suing publisher Take-Two Interactive for using her likeness and life story without permission in Grand Theft Auto V.
Gravano seeks $20 million in compensation and another $20 million in punitive damages. Here’s a brief passage from the filed documents:
“Notwithstanding the fact that plaintiff has the utmost respect for the writers and creators of the Grand Theft Auto V video game…her story is unique and is hers to tell.”
Gravano claims that one of the game’s characters, Antonia Bottino, is clearly based on her. In the game, Antonia’s father is a former Gambetti family mob boss named Sammy (Sonny) Bottino, who ends up becoming an informant just like Gravano’s father in real life. Furthermore, Antonia wants to star in a fictional show called Wise Bitches, which is an obvious parody of Mob Wives.
Gravano says all of this could’ve been avoided had Take-Two simply asked her permission. At the same time, one must always consider the question: “Would she care if GTAV didn’t make the many millions it did?” I mean, if you’re actually offended, money should be irrelevant…right?
Yeah, well, maybe not. That’s the way things go, though.