Former Mob Wives star files suit over GTA 5, wants $40 million

Karen Gravano, daughter of Salvatore (Sammy the Bull) Gravano, claims her image and life story was ripped off; seeking $40 million.

Karen Gravano, the daughter of Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano who was recently a star of VH1's Mob Wives before she left the show, has filed a lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive, claiming her image and life story was ripped off in Grand Theft Auto V. She is seeking $20 million in compensation and another $20 million for punitive damages.

"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,” papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Monday and obtained by the New York Daily News state.

Gravano's lawyer Thomas Farinella said that the character Antonia Bottino is based on Gravano, who was not compensated or credited for the role. Bottino's in-game father, a former Gambetti family mob boss named Sammy (Sonny) Bottino, winds up becoming an informant, just like Gravano's real-world father did to help bring down John Gotti.

Also in the game, Bottino does not allow her daughter to star in a fictional show called Wise Bitches, which is an obvious parody of Mob Wives.

Gravano's lawsuit against Take-Two notes that Rockstar Games producers could have asked for her permission "with relative ease, which may have (averted) this action." Take-Two declined to comment to the New York Daily News and has not responded to GameSpot's request for statement.

This lawsuit is not the first legal action levied against Take-Two since GTA V's record-setting launch in September when it generated over $1 billion in revenue in three days. In December, Mean Girls actress Lindsay Lohan said she planned to sue Take-Two, claiming her likeness was used without permission. And before that, Rapper Daz Dillinger accused Rockstar in October of using two of his songs in the game without permission, demanding that Rockstar give him more money for the songs or destroy all remaining unsold copies of GTA V.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

341 comments
dreday410
dreday410

If that is the case she should also sue the movie company and producers of the movie "THE FAMILY"....that is the same thing 

mattcake
mattcake

So they've now pi**ed off pretty much every ethnic group, every stereotype, the government and now the mob. What's left? Aliens coming down and moaning they stole their spaceship design?

GIF
GIF

The lawyer she hired is probably working on contingency basis and she will probably lose and have to pay Take Two for sending out their lawyers. Just imagine how much they charge per hour. What a maroon. This totally falls under parody. Plus some say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Unless you are on a show called "Wise Bitches" in a super famous game. Muahahaha

keiran1337
keiran1337

Uh, stories and personnal life cannot be considered as a property. They just made a parody, nothing wrong here.
And 20m$ in "compensation"... compensation of what, haha? she hasn't lost 20m$ because of them. 

heretrix
heretrix

You gotta love how someone who has lived most of their life off of criminal gain has has the balls to look to the legal system to right a perceived wrong. Hilarious. What a fucking clown.

deadkingdg
deadkingdg

Pretty much everything in GTA is a parody. I'm surprised Facebook hasn't sued GTA for Life Invader... Or maybe they know what parodies actually are.

mikemaj82
mikemaj82

Speaking of GTAV, and any news on DLC yet or what?

PlusFour
PlusFour

I like to get naked and rub money all over myself. Unfortunately, I'm not that rich and i'm British so i end up using pound coins instead. It hurts a little bit, but i still feel like a banker. 

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

Can you really sue someone and win for them having characters with a likeness to you? I mean its not like photo realistic faces make it simple to tell who it is you could argue some of them look like hundreds of different people.

KelboDelta
KelboDelta

why do these people wait this long to sue over this?..... oh, wait, a billion reasons.

kagento
kagento

Wait, wait... "Mob Wives" is a real show???? 0_o

Def-Trex
Def-Trex

If she gets anything out of this than what's to keep say any soldier who ever lived from suing Call Of Duty for example.

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

good for her. If she do have sapre money to spend on lawyers she might get few millions from Rockstar.

Kinren1
Kinren1

Criminals should sue because this game completely rips off parts of their life stories.

LtJef
LtJef

Trevor had arms and legs.  I have arms and legs.  Clearly, I was the basis for this character.  Plus I own sweat pants and Trevor actually WEARS sweatpants.  Slight difference, but I am sure a judge will see the similarities.  Early retirement here I come. 

dreamreaver721
dreamreaver721

Maybe if Rockstar would be original instead of ripping everything off, it would actually be a good game. Selling $1 billion worth of trash in three days means nothing, just means gamers are sold out to the GTA franchise in a way that is strikingly morbid. Personally, I don't see the appeal and never have. Each game is a repeat of the same crap from the game before it. I think RockStar gets what they deserve for putting out this garbage. Innovation there amounts to figuring new ways to stereotype minorities and glorify the criminal underworld. Sorry, I don't feel bad for them at all.

ewjiml
ewjiml

Rockstar stole my entire life story, and created this....Trevor guy in my image.  Gimme $100 million or I will sue. 

Kickable
Kickable

Spoiled mobster cliche files suit over Gravano's life.  Cliche wants $80 million.

Xmus942
Xmus942

I'm going to sue Rockstar because they have black people in the game... and everyone knows all black people look alike? Rockstar is ripping off of my likeness, and goddammit I deserve compensation! 




Iamshmee
Iamshmee

People are morons, GTA is Satire. Obviously if things are close in retrospect it's probably because she is their target in this specific piece in the game, but nonetheless it's still satire and obviously not a true tale of her life story. Dumb pieces of crap trying to get rich, even more so in her case, the easy way.

tightwad34
tightwad34

$40 Million? Seriously? At least make yourself not look completely greedy. It woiuld still be farce if she asked for a dollar. God I fucking hate the sue happy society we have now.

aldiggy
aldiggy

Here come the Lindsey Lohans (gold diggers). 40 million..... pleaseeeeee

billlabowski
billlabowski

The last people on Earth I want to meet in court is Rockstars' legal team. They've gotten reviewers fired for giving their games a bad score. They're totally ruthless and this will go nowhere. I wouldn't be surprised if they put a severed horse's head in her bed one night. 

ZakBlue
ZakBlue

$40 million for a mob wife. Wtf is she going to do with the money? Absolutely ridiculous. There are people in the world that can't even afford to eat (that didn't get married to a mobster)

 Disgusting.

toddhaley13
toddhaley13

Problem is this bitch wasnt famous until the game was 3 years into development. Not their fault that she has a stereotypical mobster lifestyle. What a greedy bitch

joeymp
joeymp

parody law. 60% of the time it works everytime.

AceJakk
AceJakk

This Wise Bitch knows that she has just enough of a case wherein Take Two will simply settle out of court, even though their representation would, in theory, be covered by parody.

Dumper1
Dumper1

Why the hell would anyone want to makes shows about these disgusting people baffles me.

Fantomass
Fantomass

I will sue GTA because they used my appearance for that black guy in the picture. I have similar nose, and somewhat similar haircut. I even wear a hoodie just like that, sometimes!!! WTF

Poison-tooth
Poison-tooth

Totally sane, rational and legitimate claim. Good luck in your fight against injustice!

aloudangryjerk
aloudangryjerk

Whether or not she actually wins this will depend on 2 things, 1) if their's any defamation of character, which there didn't appear to be, and 2) whether or not they copied her work directly (ie: plagiarism), which she doesnt appear to have any... 


otherwise this falls under Paordy and the judge will throw it out of court

grandpamuffins
grandpamuffins

She must need the money. This will never hold in court.

Def-Trex
Def-Trex

@Karmazyn Good for her?Really? I once stole a car can I sue them for ripping off my life ?

vannacut
vannacut

@LtJef  i actually wear sweatpants but mine are dark blue, you think i d have a case?

5SI-GonePostal
5SI-GonePostal

@dreamreaver721  Ripping off a generic mob story to be one of its story archs, and Rockstar not be original!  LMAO! Haters are gonna hate, is it really that hip nowadays to hate good games?

RAGEofSTUNTS
RAGEofSTUNTS

@billlabowski  I really don't understand how any single person can even think of filing a lawsuit against any company with hundreds of lawyers at the ready to counterattack, let alone a company that generates $1 billion in three days.

zintarr
zintarr

@ZakBlue  She did not marry a mobster. Her father was a murdering piece of mob trash.

zedetach
zedetach

@AceJakk  Take Two isn't generous enough for an out of court settlement. I am sure they've got their bases covered.

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

@Def-Trex @Karmazyn this is invalid example. Your appearance has not been used in game without your consent. your personal story was not used in game. I do not think that this case will see daylight. They will probably settle behind the close doors. If my life story would be used without my consent I would like some sort of compensation. Its not liek Rockstar would not have any money to pay me.

projectpat72988
projectpat72988

@zintarr @ZakBlue  Yup, Sammy the Bull...what a disgusting piece of human trash that man is. Him and his "men of honor" BS he snitched snitched snitched when it was his ass on the line. Im amazed he was never killed for that. 

AceJakk
AceJakk

@zedetach @AceJakkThey wouldn't be generous with an out of court settlement.  This would be covered by E&O insurance.  The settlement would be the cheapest route.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

@Karmazyn No has any rights to a story. The only argument could be your likeness but even that is hard to prove unless they specifically mention you in the game. Tons of people have similar stories its not exactly a unique copyrighted thing

Def-Trex
Def-Trex

@Karmazyn How is it her personal story?Maybe if they used the same names but they didn't.It's a work of fiction based around a generic mob story.Even if it was based on her there is nothing to prove that.She has no case.And as for her likeness being used, come on, that's about as provable as Lindsay Lohan's claim that it was her likeness on the cover.People can look like fictional characters sometimes it happens.Like I said if this happens what is to keep every soldier who ever lived from suing the COD devs?

tightwad34
tightwad34

@projectpat72988 Yeah, I'm a bit surprised they haven't found him yet. And nobody likes a snitch. At least I know I don't.