GTA 6 maker Rockstar is again accused of using someone's likeness in its games without permission.
This time, it's Lawrence Sullivan. Known as the "Florida Joker" due to their facial tattoos, called out Rockstar on TikTok twice not long after the GTA 6 trailer dropped, telling the development studio "you took my likeness, you took my life." He goes on to state Rockstar owes him "a mil or two."
In the GTA 6 video, a person with facial tattoos reminiscent of Sullivan is shown at the 1:04 mark wearing trademark orange jail attire. While the tattooing around the eyes looks similar, the rest of the character's facial ink is different. But not enough to satisfy Sullivan.
Sullivan became internet famous in 2017 when their Miami-Dade County mugshot made headlines after being arrested for pointing a gun at traffic.
Sullivan made the news again in 2018 after their arrest in St. Petersburg, Florida. The arrest stemmed from a warrant out of Miami-Dade for probation violation about the original 2017 charge of carrying a concealed firearm.
Rockstar has always been one to poke fun at current events, counterculture, and the infamous using parody or satire; therefore, it's quite possible the studio was inspired by Sullivan - but that has yet to be determined.
This isn't the first time Rockstar has had someone cry foul, as the studio was sued in 2014 by actor Lindsay Lohan, who claimed a character in GTA 5 used their likeness. The suit went to court in 2016 with the Manhattan appeals court panel ruling in Rockstar's favor.
The court stated the studio "does not fall under the statutory definitions of 'advertising' or 'trade'. This video game’s unique story, characters, dialogue, and environment, combined with the player’s ability to choose how to proceed in the game, render it a work of fiction and satire."
During this same session, a suit filed by Karen Gravano, the daughter of Mafia informant Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, was dismissed. In this case, it was claimed the GTA 5 character Andrea Bottino was based on Karen Gravano.