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A famous mayor and an infamous dictator are going head to head over a video game.
Rudy Giuliani has signed on as co-council for Activision in its defense of a previously revealed lawsuit by Manuel Noriega, who says the video game publisher unlawfully used his image for monetary gain in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Giuliani's first move was to file a motion to dismiss the suit Monday morning in the Superior Court of the State of California.
"What's astonishing is that Manuel Noriega, a notorious dictator who is in prison for the heinous crimes he committed, is upset about being portrayed as a criminal and enemy of the state in the game Call of Duty. Quite simply, it's absurd," said Giuliani in a statement. "I'm not interested in giving handouts to a convicted murderer and drug smuggler ... who is demanding money from Activision ... for simply exercising its right to free speech."
Noriega is seeking a share of the profits from Call of Duty: Black Ops II as well as damages, claiming that his depiction in the game was included "to increase the popularity and revenue" of the title. Noriega appeared as both an in-game character and in news clips throughout the game.
The former mayor of New York City doesn't believe Noriega's claim holds water.
"[This sort of case] has been litigated [for] famous people, but never [for] a mass murderer and war criminal," Giuliani said during a conference call. "Baseball players have sued when they were used and lost. Football players sued and they were able to win because in the case of football players, they were the major feature of the video game. You could play them in the video game and they were marketed as part of the video game. And they were shown doing what they do as football players. ... In the Noriega case, you cannot play Noriega. He is a bit player."