Jennifer Lopez's production company, STX Entertainment, is being sued by the real-life stripper who inspired the actress' character in the movie "Hustlers."
Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, "Hustlers" had a $20 million budget and grossed more than $157 million at the worldwide box office.
Samantha Barbash, one of the subjects of the 2015 New York Mag article "The Hustlers at Scores," was the supposed brain behind a ring of strippers that went after some of Wall Street's elite men in one of the biggest scams in history.
Last year, Barbash already threatened to sue the production company, a case she intended to file since the film debuted in September 2019.
TMZ obtained a letter by her lawyer, which reminded STX Entertainment that Barbash "unequivocally rejected all offers to be included in the film." Hence, the former stripper wants the production company to resolve "the flagrant violation of her rights."
Barbash is angry because STX Entertainment gave her a meager offer and never made an agreement with her while the movie was in production. She claims in her lawsuit that the producers approached her to get her consent for the movie and gave them her disapproval.
Despite not giving away her rights to the film, it was still produced with Lopez playing Ramona, a character based on her.
Barbash said that Ramona in the movie is portrayed as "using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived her child," which she emphasized is not real and very offensive.
"The film depicts Ms. Barbash, played by Jennifer Lopez as the ringleader of a group of adult dancers who drugged their patrons and stole exuberant amounts of money from them while in their incapacitated state," the lawsuit stated.
"Defendants did not take caution to protect the rights of Ms. Barbash by creating a fictionalized character, or by creating a composite of characters to render Jlo's character a new fictitious one; rather they engaged in a systematic effort to make it well-known that Jlo was playing Ms. Barbash."
The lawsuit also mentioned how Jlo's character imitate photos of Barbash printed in The Post, which included her giving two middle fingers to photographers when she left court.
The former adult dancer also took jabs at Lopez for not meeting with her before interpreting her film. She said, "If you're portraying my part, the ringleader, how she's been on every show saying, then you should have met the person that you're portraying to study mannerism."
"My mannerism wasn't the way she played. Yes, I'm a boss and a leader, but that's about it. I'm not cold-hearted."
Barbash also mentioned that without Jennifer Lopez, "they wouldn't have money. There is no storyline. It's just Jennifer. People are going to see the movie because Jlo is on a stripper pole."
According to Variety in September, Barbash's lawyer sent STX a letter demanding it works out a deal to compensate his client within 10 days or face a lawsuit. In response, Variety said STX preserved its right to make movies about actual events.
"We will defend our right to tell factually based stories based on the public record and look forward to resolving this matter before a judge."
In 2017, Barbash pled guilty to conspiracy, assault and grand theft in exchange for five year's probation.