First it was Lindsay Lohan, now it’s disgraced dictator Manuel Noriega’s turn to sue a big-name developer over a popular videogame franchise. Noriega, who was the dictator of Panama until 1989, is suing Activision for appropriating his likeness and namesake without his permission for use in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
First reported by the Los Angeles Times, Noriega filed his lawsuit on Tuesday with the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He is claiming that Call of Duty: Black Ops II portrays him as “a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state” in order to “heighten realism,” which would lead “directly into heightened sales.” Noriega is seeking lost profits and damages.
Before being removed from power in 1989 by the United States, Noriega served as Panama’s military dictator beginning in 1983. Originally linked with the CIA, the relationship between Noriega and the U.S. became strained following his rise to power. After being captured in 1989, the dictator would be tried and convicted on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering and money laundering.
Noriega popped up during the “Suffer with Me” mission in the main campaign for Call of Duty: Black Ops II. In the game, he originally is working with the CIA in order to capture renegade drug lord Raul Menendez. However, he soon turns on his own men and instead chooses to ally himself with Menendez.
While not as frivolous as the lawsuit presented by Lindsay Lohan, Noriega’s claims do seem a little strained. Even with the fact that his likeness was used in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, it would be surprising if he managed to walk away with any money from this lawsuit. Although, since he is still in a jail in Panama, it’s funny to think about what he would actually do with the money if he manages to win the case.