Real-Life Stripper Who Inspired Jennifer Lopez's Character in 'Hustlers' Threatens Lawsuit

Samantha Barbash, the stripper who inspired Jennifer Lopez's character in 'Hustlers,' is threatening a lawsuit for use of her likeness.

Jennifer Lopez

Image via Getty/Vittorio Zunino Celotto

Jennifer Lopez

Samantha Barbash, the real-life stripper who inspired Jennifer Lopez's character in Hustlers, is threatening a lawsuit for use of her likeness. As TMZ reports, Barbash's legal team has sent a letter to the production studio behind the film, STX Entertainment, demanding payment for using not only her likeness, but also her identity in connection with film promotion without her permission.

Last week, Barbash called out Jennifer Lopez and said the studio "pretty much basically stole my story." She added, "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." Barbash said Lopez didn't reach out to her, either, and that she "defamed my character."

Barbash's lawyer Bruno Gioffre said their client "unequivocally rejected all offers to be included in the film," and that STX should seek to resolve "the flagrant violation of her rights." The letter does not mention how much she is asking for, but it does detail that an unnamed Hustlers producer approached her with an offer to agree to use of her likeness.

While she was critical of J.Lo and the film as a whole, she somewhat praised Cardi B for her performance in the film. "Cardi was in the strip club business," she explained. "I think with acting lessons she would have been great."

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