The former stripper who inspired Jennifer Lopez’s character in Hustlers is suing the film’s producers, claiming they “exploit” her likeness.
Samantha Barbash filed a federal lawsuit against STX Entertainment, Gloria Sanchez Productions, Pole Sisters LLC, and Lopez’s production company Nuyorican Productions, according to court documents obtained by People. In it, Barbash accuses the film of defaming her character by showing her “using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child.”
Barbash is reportedly seeking $40 million in damages; $20 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages.
Hustlers is based on the 2015 New York Magazine story, “The Hustlers at Scores,” which looks at a crew of strip club employees who end up robbing their Wall Street clients.
Lopez has yet to comment on the lawsuit.