The daughter of a famous mobster from the 90s has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the makers of the phenomenally successful Grand Theft Auto V.
According to a report by New York Daily News, Karen Gravano, the daughter of famous 90s mobster Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, filed the suit in the Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday accusing Rockstar Games of using her life story and likeness for an in-game character.
The lawsuit says a character called “Antonia Bottino” is based on Karen. In the game, the player bumps into Antonia just as she is about to be buried alive by two men. If the player decides to stop and help her, they will then be tasked with transporting her back home.
During the ride she begins to recall her life story, saying that a murder charge was put on her father, known in-game as “Sammy ‘Sonny’ Bottino”. She also describes how her father was a former Gambettti family underboss who eventually became a witness against the mafia.
In real-life, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano was an underboss for the Gambino crime family in the 80s and 90s. He worked under the infamous John Gotti, the head of the Gambino crime family, but eventually turned against the mafia and became a witness for the prosecution. John Gotti was sentenced life in prison and Sammy was given just a five year sentence for his cooperation but served just one year due to previous jail terms.
Also, Antonia, the character, says her in-game father refused to allow her to appear on an in-game TV show called “Wise Bitches”. Karen Gravano was a star on the VH1 reality TV show “Mob Wives” which follows women with fathers or husbands as mobsters.
Karen is seeking $20 million in compensation and $20 million for punitive damages.
The lawsuit read: “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.”
Karen is also preparing to release a second book containing more details about her life, according to the lawsuit.
Rockstar Games refused to comment as it’s a legal matter.
This isn’t the first time GTA V has been in legal trouble.
Back in October, rapper Daz Dillinger sent a cease and desist order to Rockstar accusing them of using two of his hit songs in the in-game radio station “West Coast Classics” without his permission.
Dillinger was offered an “offensively low offer of $4,271” for his songs “C-Walk” and “Nothin But The Cavi Hit”, according to the documents. Dillinger and his attorney ordered Take-Two Interactive, the publishers of GTA V, “to recall and destroy all unsold copies of the game”.
In December, trouble starlet Lindsay Lohan filed a lawsuit also, alleging that an in-game character is based on her as well. During a mission, the player must escort a female starlet back to her house whilst envading the paparazzi and in a different mission, the player has to break into the backyard of another celebrity starlet and take of a picture of her whilst she has sexual intercourse with a man.
The suit also alleges Rockstar used her likeness for a wallpaper released for download, featuring a female in a bikini and taking a selfie on the beach.
GTA V launched in September 2013 and went on to become the biggest entertainment launch in history, earning $1 billion in sales three days following its launch. Critically acclaimed worldwide, the game also outsold its predecessor, GTA IV, beat The Last of Us as the biggest digital release on PlayStation and broke seven Guinness World Records.
Having shipped over 32.5 million copies, the game has won four Game of the Year awards and is nominated for a further three.