The woman who inspired Jennifer Lopez’s character in the film “Hustlers” has filed a lawsuit against Lopez’s production company.
Samantha Barbash wants Lopez to pay $40 million in damages because she claims Lopez’s production company, Nuyorican Productions, used her likeness and story without her consent, according to TMZ. Barbash claims producers approached her about cosigning the movie but instead went on with production despite not having her permission.
TMZ reports that Barbash initially spoke out about her concerns back in September when she told TMZ that she wasn’t impressed by the deal Nuyorican offered her, so she turned down the opportunity to work with the studio. “They pretty much basically stole my story,” Barbash said. “I wouldn’t sign my rights away… I wasn’t giving up my TV and film rights for peanuts. J. Lo doesn’t work for free. Why would I? I’m a businesswoman.”
In addition to not receiving her consent, Barbash also claims in the lawsuit that the film negatively portrays her by suggesting she was “using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child.” Her lawsuit is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages, which comes to $40 million from the production company. But she didn’t stop there; she also wants producers to turn over all copies of the film.
Meanwhile, Lopez is looking at the possibility of winning an Oscar for her role in the film, which received commercial and critical success, Complex reports.