The company that holds the rights to famous physic Miss Cleo is suing Rockstar Games over what they claim is improper use of her likeness in GTA: Vice City. Psychic Readers Network, according to TMZ, filed a lawsuit that claims Rockstar used Miss Cleo’s likeness without permission for the character Auntie Poulet.
Psychic Readers Network says it’s spent more than $100 million over the years to create and promote the Miss Cleo persona, further claiming that Rockstar has made many millions more by having Miss Cleo or Auntie Poulet in Vice City.
Youree Dell Harris, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 53, portrayed Miss Cleo for years. She did the voice work for Auntie Poulet in Vice City.
A spokesperson for Rockstar told TMZ: “These claims are entirely meritless and completely ridiculous. We will vigorously defend ourselves with regard to this matter.”
Rockstar re-released Vice City for smartphones and tablets in 2012, timed with the game’s tenth anniversary.
As GI.biz reminds us, Psychic Readers Network also sued food giant General Mills over its use of Miss Cleo’s likeness to promote the re-launch of French Toast Crunch cereal.
In 2002, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Psychic Readers Network, claiming that the organization’s “entire operation is alleged to be permeated with fraud.” The Psychic Readers Network, along with Access Resource Services, paid a $5 million fine and agreed to forgive $500 million in uncollected bills to settle the case.