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Former ‘Mob Wives’ star sues over use of her life story in Grand Theft Auto V

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Karen Gravano and Antonia Bottino (Credit: Getty Images/Rockstar Games)

The daughter of the New York mobster responsible for the downfall of infamous mob boss John Gotti is suing Rockstar Games, saying the developer used her life story in Grand Theft Auto V without her permission.

Karen Gravano, daughter of Sammy "The Bull" Gravano and a former star of the VH1 reality series “Mob Wives,” alleges that a character in the best-selling crime game, Antonia Bottino, is based on her image and life story.

In the game, Antonia Bottino is depicted as the daughter of Sammy Bottino, the "Gambetti" family crime boss who eventually becomes an informant. She’s upset that her father won't let her star in the fictional show "Wise Bitches," a not-so-subtle jab at the VH1 series.

To Gravano, it all hits way too close to home.

"Notwithstanding the fact that the 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," Gravano’s lawyer Thomas Farinella wrote in papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday.

Gravano is seeking $20 million in compensation and another $20 million in punitive damages. Rockstar isn't commenting on the suit.

The GTA games are known for skewering pop culture, often jabbing well known celebrities and properties. GTA V is jam-packed with references to everything from Psy's “Gangnam Style” to Iron Man to Alf.

Being sued by celebs is old hat for Rockstar. Late last year, Lindsay Lohan began legal proceedings against the company over a bikini-clad character seen on the cover of Grand Theft Auto V  In 2010, Michael "Shagg" Washington, a backup singer for the rap group Cypress Hill, alleged that Rockstar based the lead character of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on his life story. That suit was tossed by a judge in 2012.

Gravano's, however, notes that it's not (allegedly) being incorporated into the game that bothers her, it's the fact that she didn't see it coming.

In the lawsuit, she says that Rockstar could have sought her permission "with relative ease, which may have (averted) this action."

Released in September of last year, Grand Theft Auto V smashed just about every entertainment industry sales record in the books, earning the biggest opening day haul and becoming fastest to reach $1 billion.

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