‘Grand Theft Auto’ Makers Sued by Psychic Readers Network Over Miss Cleo ‘Doppelganger’

Psychic Readers Network says that game’s Auntie Poulet infringes on copyright for television psychic

We bet Rockstar Games didn’t see this coming.

Beloved-but-deceased TV psychic Miss Cleo lives on in videogame form, at least according to a lawsuit filed this week by Psychic Readers Network, which is not at all happy about the alleged resurrection.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed against Takes-Two Interactive Software and Rockstar Games in federal court in Florida on Wednesday, “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” contains a character that’s too similar to Miss Cleo for comfort.

The suit takes issue with the character Auntie Poulet, which according to the lawsuit infringes on the Psychic Readers Network’s copyright on Mis Cleo, “a widely known television informercial psychic, who PRN spent in excess of $100 million promoting.”

“The Defendants’ Auntie Poulet’s similarities to Miss Cleo and her copyrighted attributes are of such a breadth and extraordinary nature that they can only be explained by copying — which is unsurprising given that Defendants hired the actress who performed as Miss Cleo to provide voiceovers, using the same accent as Miss Cleo, for the infringing videogame.”

The alleged similarities go far beyond the accent, the suit contends.

“These striking similarities are more than substantial. In particular, Defendants copied Miss Cleo’s vibrantly colored caftans and turbans, as well as the patois and mysticism of Miss Cleo, in designing and animating her doppelganger Auntie Poulet,” the suit reads. “Both Miss Cleo and Auntie Poulet are said to be trained in Voodoo, have a strong link to the occult, are of Afro-Caribbean origin, and reside in South Florida.”

Youree Dell Harris, the actress who portrayed Miss Cleo in a series of television ad, died at age 53 in 2016 following a battle with cancer.

Alleging copyright infringement and unjust enrichment, the suit seeks unspecified damages.

TheWrap has reached out to Rockstar Games for comment on the lawsuit.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.