It may have been one of the most highly anticipated films of the last year, but now Hustlers is the talk of the town for an entirely different reason. Samantha Barbash, the inspiration behind Jennifer Lopez’s character Ramona, is reportedly suing the movie’s producers for $40 million. Barbash is claiming that Nuyorican Productions, (which Lopez is a founder of), used her likeness without her permission and defamed her throughout the film.
Watch below: The trailer for 'Hustlers' is here
In court documents, Barbash claims that producers tried to "obtain a consent and waiver from Ms. Barbash for the production of the film and their ultimate portrayal" and that they are attempting to "exploit" her likeness and character for the film. Her lawyer, Bruno V Gioffre Jr, told Rolling Stone that the defendants tried to “trick her into selling her rights” for $6,000 for the film, which made over $150 million.
The allegations continue, claiming that producers defamed Barbash by showing her "using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child," which was false and “grossly irresponsible”.
This isn’t the first time Barbash has openly criticised Lopez’s portrayal of her in Hustlers, telling Vanity Fair back in September that she “wasn’t that impressed” by the film and stating that she is “nothing like that in person”.
Barbash is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages.