The real-life stripper who inspired Jennifer Lopez’s character in Hustlers has filed a $40 million lawsuit against officials at the actress’ production firm for using her likeness without permission.
Samantha Barbash claims J.Lo based her role of Ramona on her, even though she rejected an offer from film executives to sign off on the rights to her life story for the hit drama.
The adult entertainer goes on to accuse officials of defaming her, as Ramona is portrayed as “using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child” – something Barbash is offended by, because she insists that never happened.
She is now suing bosses at Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions company, seeking $20 million for compensation, and another $20 million in punitive damages, reports TMZ.
The superstar herself isn’t named in the lawsuit, but she served as one of the producers of the project, which has earned her critical acclaim, including nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes.
Representatives for Hustlers have yet to comment on the legal action.
The movie is based on a New York Magazine article that went viral in 2015, about a real-life group of exotic dancers who con their wealthy broker clients.