Jennifer Lopez sued for $40 million by former stripper for 'Hustlers'


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Jennifer Lopez's 2020 is off to a rough start. Former stripper Samantha Barbash has filed a lawsuit over the actress's portrayal of her in their 2019 hit movie Hustlers. The real-life strip club employee is going after J.Lo's company Nuyorican Productions, STX Entertainment, Gloria Sanchez Productions, and Pole Sisters LLC.

More from MamásLatinas: Jennifer Lopez had the best year ever in 2019 & here's why

The woman who inspired the character Ramona Vega in the film claims that filmmakers defamed her and never compensated her for telling her story. The woman is seeking $40 million in damages from the production companies, and the lawsuit also seeks to limit the company's reproduction and distribution of the film in the future.  

The lawsuit claims that Samantha didn't consent to her likeness being used in the film.

In court documents obtained by the Blast, the woman says the movie was based on the article "The Hustlers at Scores," which was written about about women at the club and published in 2015 by New York magazine. The article detailed Samantha's real-life experience at Scores gentleman's club in Manhattan, New York, where she was accused of drugging her clients and using their credit cards. In 2017, Samantha was given five year's probation after she pleaded guilty to grand larceny, assault, and conspiracy. Samantha claims that she was approached by the studio so that she could sign off on the consent for it to continue production, but she refused. 

“Defendants attempted to obtain a consent and waiver from Ms. Barbash for the production of the film and their ultimate portrayal of the plaintiff therein. However, Ms. Barbash refused to give her consent or waive any of her privacy rights,” the lawsuit reads. “Nonetheless with blatant disregard for their lack of authority and/or consent, defendants proceeded to exploit Ms. Barbash’s likeness and character for the film and the promotion thereof.”

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The former hostess claims that her reputation was damaged because of the film.

She claims that a scene in the movie where Ramona was "using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child" was "untrue and offensive," according to TMZ, and that it has damaged her reputation personally and professionally. The Blast reports that she is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and an additional $20 million in punitive damages. Samantha and her lawyers are also seeking a court order forcing producers to "turn over all copies of the film." Yikes! 

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Samantha confirmed the news on Instagram.

She shared a screenshot of a publication's post reporting on the news and confirmed that she was going forward with the lawsuit and would be conducting interviews about it. "Thanks @theshaderoom and yes it’s true I am suing for all who are inquiring wait til you see my tv interviews for all my answers," she captioned the post.

She also released a book to tell her own side of the story.

Samantha released a book titled Underscore in September 2019, in which she told her side of the story. She also called out the movie for allegedly portraying her inaccurately, saying that she wasn't a stripper when the case was going on and that she worked at the club as a hostess.

"Let’s set the record straight for the last time people I never say I wasn’t a stripper in my younger years I was a single mom what I am mad about is HOW THEY DEFAMED MY CHARACTER ME AS A MOTHER ALL TO MAKE MONEY," she wrote in the caption at the time. "It’s ok I guess it’s Hollywood you can do whatever you want!! My book is dedicated to strippers I don’t see them in stripclubs throwing money. Someone had to tell one of the producers to go throw money for an hour, ladies who lost a week worth of money ...I on the other hand support and go all the time and throw money !!!! Let’s remember this because I will not discuss this again! I am for all the sex workers no matter of what kind you are I support all! Many of my friend are adult entertainers or were adult stars I don’t think I'm better or above that game I just am at a different place in my life as a single mom you do what you gotta do to support your child simple."

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The movie turned out to be a huge success.

Not only did it make tons of money at the box office, bringing in more than $32 million opening weekend, but it was also well-received by critics and fans. Although she didn't win, J.Lo received a best supporting actress nomination at the 2020 Golden Globes for her role in the film. 

Topics: celeb scandals  celebrities with legal problems  jennifer lopez