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This GTA 5 Model Isn't Who You Think It Is

The Grand Theft Auto series is one that isn't known for pulling punches. There are also tons of wild GTA theories out there which players have speculated about and spread over the years. Mix those together, and you get the story about the GTA bikini girl, a woman who appears in a loading screen for GTA 5 and whose identity has led to many a discussion online.

Some truly believe they know who the bikini girl really is. Others think she was modeled as a tribute of sorts to another star. The vast majority of these guesses are just flat-out wrong, though some have put forward some rather convincing photographic evidence. The woman who actually inspired the Grand Theft Auto 5 bikini girl, however, isn't quite as well-known as some of the stars fans have mentioned. But she provided the proof that she did, indeed, serve as the model for the bikini girl found in the game. Now let's find out who she is.

Who some believe GTA 5's bikini girl is

When GTA 5 fans dug up a photo of Kate Upton and put it next to the game's bikini girl, it looked like the case was closed. The resemblance was so staggering — and the pose so similar to the one used by the woman in Grand Theft Auto 5 — that it really seemed as though Rockstar was basing this character off of Kate Upton. If Kate Upton was not herself the character, then surely Rockstar must have seen that photo and tried to recreate it in the game's art style, right? Not at all.

The bikini girl is not Kate Upton. She is also not Justine Ezarik — better known as iJustine on the internet — nor is she Lindsay Lohan, though Lohan reportedly tried to sue because she felt bikini girl was modeled around her likeness. The model behind the GTA 5 bikini girl is someone else entirely. No disrespect, but she's someone you may have never heard of.

Who GTA 5's bikini girl actually is

According to Daily Dot, the woman who served as the inspiration for the GTA 5 bikini girl is model Shelby Welinder. And if you're having doubts, you only have to consider the best piece of evidence that's been presented in this case. As Daily Dot reported, back when the Nowgamer website still existed, that site hosted an image of her Rockstar Games invoice. That modeling gig was more than her appearing in an ad and then in a loading screen, by the way: She also reportedly got her name in Grand Theft Auto 5's credits.

Sadly, it's tough to say what Shelby Welinder is up to these days. Her IMDb page lists her last project as taking place in 2018. Her Twitter account, which is referenced in the Daily Dot piece, is no longer online. Regardless, she earned a spot in video game history via this modeling role because it inspired so much chatter on the web. So now you know the real story behind GTA 5's bikini girl. The next time someone brings up the topic online, you'll be able to set the record straight.