The former strip club hostess who’s the inspiration behind Jennifer Lopez’s character, Ramona Vega, in the movie Hustlers is reportedly suing Lopez’s production company for $40 million.
Samantha Barbash has filed suit in federal court claiming her likeness has been “exploited” and used without her consent. She also claims she’s been defamed by scenes in which she’s “using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child.”
Barbash says that when producers approached her about consent to make the film, she turned them down, however they went ahead with it anyway. She’s seeking $20 million in compensation and another $20 million in damages from STX Entertainment, Pole Sisters LLC and Gloria Sanchez Productions, according to PEOPLE Magazine.
STX has already threatened legal action and told Variety that it didn’t need Barbash’s consent to create the movie. “We will defend our right to tell factually based stories based on the public record and look forward to resolving this matter before a judge,” a spokesperson told the outlet.
Hustlers is based on an article published in New York Magazine in 2015, which told the story of a group of exotic dancers at one of the city’s gentlemen’s clubs who drugged and robbed their wealthy banker clients.
Aside from J.Lo, the film also stars Constance Wu, Cardi B and Julia Styles.