Jennifer Lopez’s production company is being sued for $40 million dollars by the real-life stripper who inspired the actress’ character Ramona in “Hustlers.”
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Samatha Barbash has filed a federal lawsuit against Jennifer Lopez’s production company Nuyorican Productions, STX Entertainment, Gloria Sanchez Productions, and Pole Sisters LLC.
In the lawsuit, Barbash explains “Hustlers” is based on a 2015 New York magazine article “The Hustlers at Scores” which was based on the real life events of Barbash. She was a stripper at Score’s Gentleman’s Club in New York.
In 2017, she pled guilty to conspiracy, assault, and grand larceny in exchange for five year’s probation. She claims the film producers approached her before production to “obtain a consent and waiver from Ms. Barbash for the production of the film and their ultimate portrayal” of her. She refused to sign off on the consent or waive her privacy rights.
She accuses them of blatantly disregarding her refusal to consent and says they proceeded to “exploit” her likeness and character in the film and the promotion.
Barbash believes Jennifer Lopez’ character Ramona is based directly on her. She accuses producers including J. Lo of giving interviews talking about the real life events, which she believes proves her point.
She accuses the film of defaming her by showing J. Lo’s character "using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child." She says this depiction of her is false and offensive.
The suit reads, “While the amount of accurate factual details presented within the film are sufficient to unequivocally identity JLO’s character as Ms. Barbash, Defendants made statements and created scenes of and concerning Ms. Barbash in a grossly irresponsible manner.”
Barbash is suing for $40 million dollars which breaks down as $20 million in compensatory damages and another $20 million in punitive damages. She is also seeking a court order forcing producers to turn over all copies of the film.
Lopez was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Ramona but lost out at this weekend's ceremony.