The estate of late TV psychic Miss Cleo filed a lawsuit against Grand Theft Auto Creators, Rockstar Games, along with other companies who distribute the classic video game.
According to Psychic Readers Network — which holds the rights to Miss Cleo — Grand Theft Auto: Vice City features a fortune teller character that looks and sounds way too much like Miss Cleo.
The character in question is Auntie Poulet. Poulet is a main character in Vice City. She is an elderly Haitian matriarch and the leader of the Haitian gang, which she also uses as her own protection.
But according to Psychic Readers Network, Rockstar Games stole Miss Cleo’s image and used it in their game. From the garb to the Jamaican accent, Psychic Readers Network isn’t feeling it. They also claim they have spent well over $100 million creating and promoting Miss Cleo’s persona over the years.
On the other hand, Grand Theft Auto and Rockstar Games have gone on to make more than $500 million and Psychic Readers Network wants their fair share. Rockstar Games also hired actress Youree Harris to do the voiceover for Poulet’s character. Harris used to play Miss Cleo in real life.
Even though Grand Theft Auto: Vice City came out around 15 years ago, Rockstar continues to profit off of their classic video games by selling reissues and discounted bundles that are sold online.
A spokesperson for Rockstar spoke with TMZ and said the allegations against their company are “completely ridiculous.”
“These claims are entirely meritless and completely ridiculous. We will vigorously defend ourselves with regard to this matter.”
As of right now, no specified monetary amount is being asked for by Psychic Readers Network.
This is not the first time Grand Theft Auto and Rockstar Games have been sued for creating look-alike characters. In 2014, actress Lindsay Lohan sued Grand Theft Auto claiming the bikini-clad woman on the Grand Theft Auto V cover bared too much resemblance to her.
Lohan’s case was dismissed by a New York Supreme Court in 2016. Although the cases are similar, Psychic Readers Network may have more of a case since Poulet was a main character in the game and there are more obvious similarities.
I’m sure Rockstar Games and the Psychic Readers Network will strike some sort of deal outside of the courtroom. If not, the case will more than likely be dismissed like Lohan’s.