Hip Hop

Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Hustlers’ Inspiration Samantha Barbash Sues Production Company For $40M

The original hustler, Samantha Barbash, won’t be out ‘hustled’ by filmmakers who she claims stole her life story.

The real-life stripper and inspiration for Jennifer Lopez’s character, Ramona, in Hustlers is suing the film’s production company. Samantha Barbash, who was the inspiration behind Jennifer Lopez’s character in the film Hustlers, promised to sue the star’s production company, Nuyorican Productions, way back in September and now she has made good on that promise–suing filmmakers for a whopping $40 million, according to TMZ.

Samantha, 45, a former stripper claims the film used her story and likeness without her permission as well as defamed her character for inaccurately depicting major life events, TMZ reports. To translate, Barbash is upset the film chose to portray her as a drug-using stripper and bad mom. In Samantha’s suit, she says her character is seen “using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child,” portrayals she says just aren’t true.

Samantha claims in her suit that producers approached her to get her consent for the movie and she turned them down. The Dailymail reports, Samantha was offered what she called ‘peanuts’ to tell her story — she said she owns Hermes handbags that are worth more than the sum — for her film rights, and when she wouldn’t accept, ‘They pretty basically much stole my story.’

Despite rejection, the flick was still produced, and Ramona is still Samantha’s story. But how true to the stripper’s life is the film? According to Samantha, it’s not even close. She said she found it ‘degrading’ Lopez never got in touch with her for insights on how to play the role, which led to inaccuracies in what showed up on the big screen.

Samantha, who is represented by Bruno Gioffre, is suing for $20 million in putative damage and $20 million in compensatory damages. The 45-year-old is also demanding the production company turn over all copies of the movie. (To be clear Barbash is suing the production company not J Lo, who was nominated for a Golden Globe’s Best Supporting Actress award for her efforts.)

Samantha is now planning to write a book based on her experiences.