Manuel Noriega, the former military dictator of Panama from 1983 to 1989, is taking Activision to court over his depiction in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Noriega, who is currently serving a prison sentence in Panama, announced that he is suing the game’s publisher for the unapproved use of his name and likeness. The lawsuit described his appearance in the game as “blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain.”
The filing goes on to state the following:
“[The] defendants’ use of the plaintiff’s image and likeness caused damage to the plaintiff. The plaintiff was portrayed as an antagonist and portrayed as the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes, creating the false impression that the defendants are authorised to use the plaintiff’s image and likeness. This caused the defendants to receive profits they would not have otherwise received.”
The claim that the inclusion of Noriega had any impact whatsoever on the massive (as expected) sales of the Call of Duty title is dubious at best, but it does seem likely that the lawsuit will have more success than Lindsay Lohan’s attempt to sue Rockstar for the alleged use of her likeness in Grand Theft Auto V.
Noriega appears in a Black Ops II mission called “Suffer with Me” as both an in-game character and in news clips. In the game, the characters refer to Noriega as “a piece of shit”, “asshole” and “old pineapple face himself, Manuel Noriega.” You can see a comparison between the man himself and his in-game realisation below: