The real-life stripper behind Jennifer Lopez’s Hustlers character has filed a $US40 million ($58 million) lawsuit against officials at the actor’s production firm for using her likeness without permission.
Samantha Barbashclaims JLo based her role of Ramona on her, even though she rejected an offer from film executives to sign off on the rights to her life story for the hit drama.
The adult entertainer goes on to accuse officials of defaming her, as Ramona is portrayed as “using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child”, something Barbash insists never happened.
She is now suing Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions company, seeking $US20 million for compensation, and another $US20 million in punitive damages, reports TMZ.
The superstar herself isn’t named in the lawsuit, but she served as one of the producers on the film, which has earned her critical acclaim, including nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes.
Hustlers representatives have not commented on the legal action.
The movie is based on a New York Magazine article that went viral in 2015, about a real-life group of exotic dancers who con their wealthy broker clients.