Updated: Jan 7, 2020
Jennifer Lopez plays Ramona in Hustlers, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award
The inspiration behind Jennifer Lopez’s character Ramona in Hustlers is suing the film’s producers for $40 million.
Samantha Barbash filed a federal lawsuit against Lopez’s production company Nuyorican Productions, STX Entertainment, Gloria Sanchez Productions and Pole Sisters LLC claiming they tried to “exploit” her likeness and character in the hit film. She’s being represented by lawyer Bruno V. Gioffre, Jr. A rep for Lopez declined to comment.
Barbash claims the film’s producers attempted to “obtain a consent and waiver from Ms. Barbash for the production of the film and their ultimate portrayal” of her.
In the lawsuit, Barbash also alleges the movie defames her by portraying Lopez’s character “using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child.”
Barbash is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages.
The movie is based on a true story detailed in a 2015 New York Magazine article titled “The Hustlers at Scores,” about New York City strippers who drugged their wealthy clients in order to use their credit cards to run up large bills at the strip club.
In September, Barbash told Vanity Fair she “wasn’t that impressed” with Hustlers.
“Everyone has been asking, ‘Did I see the movie?’ So I thought, ‘Why don’t I just see the movie,’ because I knew I was going to have a lot of interviews about it this week,” she told the publication.