Woman who inspired Jennifer Lopez's character in Hustlers sues producers claiming they didn't ask for life rights

FP Staff

Jan 09, 2020 11:39:28 IST

The woman who inspired Jennifer Lopez's character of Ramona in Hustlers has sued the producers, saying they did not pay her for taking her life story.

Samantha Barbash was the alleged mastermind behind a ring of strippers who drugged their clients and took their credit cards. She pleaded guilty in 2017 and was sentenced to five years of probation.

Their story, published by New York Magazine in 2015, was adapted into Hustlers, which has turned out to be a big box office draw for STX.

Bruno V. Gioffre, Jr., a lawyer for Barbash, informs Rolling Stone, “My client is offended that the defendants used her likeness to make over $150 million, defamed her character and tried to trick her into selling her rights to the production company for a mere $6000.”

Barbash's lawsuit further claims that the makers took no effort in creating a parallel character with Lopez's Ramona, but instead made it quite well known that the role would be based on Barbash.

Barbash is demanding $40 million in compensatory and exemplary damages, as well as a permanent injunction that would prevent STX from reproducing or distributing Hustlers.

STX, on their part, maintains that they did not need permission from Barbash, since all the information used in the film was available through public records.

As reported by the Press Trust of India, Barbash told TMZ in September last year that she rejected the producers' offer for the rights to her story, saying it was less than the cost of a Hermes bag.

"I wasn't giving up my TV and film rights... for peanuts. J-Lo doesn't work for free why would I?," she told the celebrity website.

The defendants in the lawsuit include STX Films, Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions, Gloria Sanchez Productions and Pole Sisters LLC.

Check out the trailer of Hustlers

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Updated Date: Jan 09, 2020 11:39:28 IST