Real-Life Ramona Slams Jennifer Lopez And Threatens STX Entertainment With Lawsuit Over Hustlers
Samantha Barbash - the real-life stripper who inspired Jennifer Lopez’s character Ramona Vega in Hustlers - says STX Entertainment never paid her to use her likeness, personality, biography, or identity, and she wants them to pay up now. Barbash has also slammed Lopez because she never bothered to make contact before playing her on the big screen.
According to TMZ, Barbash’s lawyer Bruno Gioffre has sent STX Entertainment - the studio that produced Hustlers - a letter demanding cash for putting a character based on Barbash in their movie. In the letter, Gioffre tells STX that Barbash “unequivocally rejected all offers to be included in the film,” and they need to come up with a hefty payment to fix “the flagrant violation of her rights.”
The letter does not demand a specific amount from the movie studio, but Gioffre makes it clear that Barbash is ready to sue if they don’t show her the money. During its opening weekend, Hustlers raked in nearly $34 million at the box office, and the ten-day total for the film sits at $62 million, which is more than triple its $20 million budget.
Barbash says that a producer for the film contacted her about signing away her rights for the movie, but she declined. She says that the producer was disrespectful and the studio essentially “stole her story” because she wouldn’t make a deal “for peanuts.”
Barbash explained that J Lo doesn’t work for free, and as a businesswoman, she doesn’t either. She says she has no idea how the studio was able to make a movie about her life without her permission. She added that she has Hermes bags that cost more than what they wanted to give her for her rights to her story.
The former stripper also complained about Lopez because the superstar didn’t reach out to her. Barbash called the move “degrading,” and said Lopez was nothing like her.
“If you’re portraying my part - me, the ringleader - how she’s been on every show saying that, then you should have actually met the person you are portraying. Study my mannerisms. My mannerism wasn’t like the way she played. Yes, I’m a boss and I’m a leader, but that’s about it. I’m not coldhearted,” said Barbash.
Barbash also accused Lopez of defaming her character, and she was disgusted as a mother because of the scene where Ramona was cooking drugs in a stove with her daughter present. She says that wasn’t accurate, and without J Lo they wouldn’t have a movie at all because there is no storyline.
Barbash says people are only buying tickets because they want to see Lopez on a stripper pole, but she’s never done moves like that on a stripper pole in her life.
As for who should have played her in the movie, Barbash said Cardi B would have done better than Jennifer Lopez since she has been a stripper in real life. Barbash says she loved Cardi B and she did great in Hustlers , she was just in the wrong role.
Samantha Barbash is now telling her own story in her book Underscore .