Hustlers is based around the stories and lives of real life strippers, and now one of the women who is said to be the inspiration for a character is reportedly suing the film's production company, claiming she never gave her permission for parts of her story to be told.
In the film, Jennifer Lopez portrayed the role of Ramona, a character reportedly inspired by Samantha Barbash. According to TMZ, Barbash claims she was approached by the studio but never signed the studio's consent waiver to use her likeness, and she's now seeking $40 million in damages.
As previously reported, the film is based on a 2015 story that appeared in The Cut. The article focused on multiple workers at a strip club, including Barbash, who alleged in her suit that prior to filming, she had refused to waive her privacy rights or sign a consent waiver given to her by Nuyorican Productions, the production company founded and owned by Lopez. She claims that the studio ultimately went forward with a depiction of her life that she never gave approval for, and that the storyline used is "offensive and untrue," TMZ reports.
In her reported suit, which The Blast reportedly obtained a copy of, Barbash particularly takes issue with the film's depiction of Ramona "using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child," TMZ reports. Her suit alleges that the studio "used her likeliness and her story without permission, [defaming] her in the process," TMZ said.
TMZ also reports that she's suing the production company for $40 million total, and she's asked for producers to turn over all copies of the movie to her.
Teen Vogue has reached out to Jennifer Lopez's PR and legal teams for comment.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue