I have been following the lawsuit filed by Karen Gravano against the makers of Grand Theft Auto V. Not much is being reported on Karen's end yet. However, according to Forbes Magazine, they recently estimate the revenue from the sale of the video game to be close to 2 billion dollars. That's a lot of money! But while the characters in the video game are stealing cars, are the makers of the game, Rockstar Games, possibly stealing identities for their characters?
Let's see what the makers of Grand Theft Auto have to say about using Karen Gravano's likeness and identity for their character, Antonia Bottino. According to TMZ, the makers admit there is some resemblance, but allegedly say their character is slimmer than Karen, therefore it is not her. Hmmm, is that their case? Sounds pretty weak to me. It might be something as simple as the "artist" who drew Antonia was not very good? Or maybe Antonia was wearing spanx? They look pretty much alike to me except Karen is much prettier. But what they may lack in physical characteristics, Rockstar more than makes up for in the details of their lives.
In a blog written on February 26th, 2014, I took the time to outline all the factual similarities between Karen Gravano and Antonia Bottino. However, I didn't put them both on a scale to weigh them because we all know that is just impossible, even though Rockstar Games is allegedly using that as their defense. Can I insert and eyeroll here? Here is what I wrote in my first blog on this case:
Let's see...Karen/Antonia both have fathers who were underbosses in the mob. Karen's father is Sammy Gravano, Antonia's father is Sammy Bottino. Sammy Gravano worked for the Gambino Crime Family under John Gotti, the Teflon Don. Antonia's father worked for the Gambetti Crime Family, under Don Jon Gravelli. Karen's father was arrested for murder and turned informant for a plea deal. Antonia's father was arrested for murder and turned snitch. Both Karen and Antonia had trouble accepting their fathers cooperating with authorities. Karen and Antonia's families both moved out west to go into hiding . . . we know Sammy Gravano moved his from their fathers' decision. Antonia and Karen were approached about being in a reality television show. Both fathers were against their daughters being on a show about the mob . . . Karen in Mob Wives and Antonia in Wise B*tches. Come on . . . if that's not Karen, who the hell is it?
I think anyone with an ounce of common sense would come to the reasonable conclusion that Antonia Bottino is a deadringer for Karen Gravano's life and likeness. It's a no brainer. So I hope some of that two billion dollar ends up in Karen's pocket because this seems to be, what is known in the law as, "commercial misappropriation." And I credit my "go to" lawyer, from Staten Island Law, Elura Nanos with identifying the cause of action in this case.
Picture Credit: Rockstar Games Grand Theft Auto 5 and VH1