"Rockstar took my life!" The story of the Florida Joker, who wants money from the creators of GTA

5 January 2024

Soon after the release of the GTA 6 trailer, many people learned about the Joker from Florida on the Internet. The guy accused the Rockstar North studio of using his appearance to create the image of one of the characters. Our article is dedicated to the story of this man and the reasons why he decided to demand money from developers.

Lindsay Lohan vs Rockstar

This is not the first time Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive have sued people. For example, back in 2013, Lindsay Lohan accused the developers of basing Lacey Jones from GTA 5 on her image. You could see this blonde in a red bikini in numerous works of art.

But the actress failed to get money from the publisher Take-Two Interactive. According to the judge, it is impossible to see a specific personality in the character; the artists used the image of an average modern girl. It is possible that Lindsay only wanted to draw attention to her person, because her acting career is not developing in the best way.

Who is the Florida Joker

Lawrence Sullivan is a 35-year-old man who lives in Florida, USA. He has problems with the law and has been treated in a psychiatric hospital several times. The guy was nicknamed the Florida Joker for his resemblance to Heath Ledger's character from the film The Dark Knight. We are talking about green hair, as well as characteristic tattoos in the form of scars near the mouth and black bruises around the eyes. All this is reminiscent of the makeup of Batman's main enemy. Sullivan's photo became a local meme back in 2017. Then he was arrested for threatening passing cars with a pistol. The guy did not have a permit to own a firearm. Lawrence was then repeatedly taken into custody for minor crimes, released on bail, and detained again for probation violations.

In 2018, Sullivan was interviewed by news channel WFLA. According to him, after the death of a close friend and a breakup with his girlfriend, he decided to radically change his appearance. As a result, the man got a series of tattoos to look like the character in the Oscar-winning film Christopher Nolan. “Old Lawrence, whom you saw with an ugly face, is now dead. I became the new Lawrence the Joker,” he said.

The release of the GTA 6 trailer and Lawrence's reaction to it

In the GTA 6 trailer you can see many references to real people from the news and various social networks. For example, users found a video of an African-American woman twerking on the hood of a car. This video was recreated by the developers using the game engine.

The image of the tattooed criminal from the Vice City news report does look like Lawrence. The artists slightly changed the image of the man — the hair color became purple instead of green, and the tattoos in the form of a scar disappeared. But that didn't stop the Florida Joker.

“Rockstar took my life,” Sullivan said and demanded $2 million from the company for the use of his identity and emotional damages. According to the guy, because of his resemblance to the character from the trailer, they started following him on the street. To prove his point, he dyed his hair purple, like the character in the trailer. A week later, the guy wanted to get not 2, but 3 million, and at the end of December Lawrence’s appetites had already increased to 5 million. Moreover, they must be paid no later than January 11, 2024. If this does not happen, he will sue Rockstar.

In our opinion, Sullivan has little chance of winning the case, because there are differences between him and the character in the game, and they are noticeable. And if he loses in the courtroom, he will have to pay all the costs.

Lawrence himself claims that he is ready to consider proposals for cooperation with Rockstar, for example, he can voice his character. A guy needs money to pay for the treatment of his mother, who needs expensive care. However, he does not help her in any way and has been unemployed for a long time.

Rockstar representatives did not respond to Sullivan's statements. However, Roger Clark, known for his role as Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption 2, commented on the situation. In his opinion, Take-Two Interactive’s lawyers know very well what can be shown and what cannot. The actor suggested that Lawrence try to monetize his resemblance to the hero of the game, because he would not be able to find a normal job with such a face.


Do you think Rockstar really used the image of the Florida Joker or is it just a coincidence? And will the man be able to win the case in court? Share your opinion in the comments!

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