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.”
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!
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.
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.