The estate of Miss Cleo is not happy! The owners of all-things-Miss-Cleo are suing the Grand Theft Auto video games series for allegedly portraying the late television psychic without permission.
Psychic Readers Network, the company who holds the rights to anything related to the deceased psychic, filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Games and other companies involved in the making of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
The company claims the game producers used her image for the character, “Auntie.”
The plaintiff in the case claims they spent over $100 million to create and promote the character of Miss Cleo and Rockstar has made over half-a-trillion dollars from exploiting the image for their own financial benefit.
Psychic Readers Network is claiming their primary evidence is the fact that Rockstar used Youree Harris, the woman who played Miss Cleo on TV, to voice the character.
Despite their accusations which may have some credence to them, the timing of the lawsuit is strange, considering it comes 15 years after the video game was first created.
(Her likeness can be seen at 2:47 in the following video)
However, PRN believes money is still being made from the game because of reissues and bundles.
Rockstar Games responded to the allegations saying, “these claims are entirely meritless and utterly ridiculous. We will vigorously defend ourselves concerning this matter.”
It’s possible this is merely a money-grab. The Grand Theft Auto series is the fourth-best-selling video games series of all time, trailing behind Mario, Pokémon, and Tetris; while the game has shipped over 250 million units. What do our readers think of this lawsuit? Do they have the right to sue the company?