Last year STXfilms released a little movie called Hustlers into theaters. The movie’s was inspired by the article The Hustlers at Scores: The Ex-Strippers Who Stole From (Mostly) Rich Men and Gave to, Well, Themselves, which was written by writer Jessica Pressler and appeared in New York Magazine in 2015. As the article’s title suggests, Hustlers follows a group of strippers who decide to steal large amounts from their wealthy male clients.
Recently, however, MovieWeb reported that a woman named Samantha Barbash is now suing the studio for $40 million. Barbash was one of the stripper subjects of Pressler’s article and allegedly served as the main inspiration for the character of Romana, played by Jennifer Lopez. According to TheWrap, Barbash warned the studio that she was planning to sue them back in September of 2019 when the movie was first being released to theaters. The reason behind her lawsuit is that Barbash feels Hustlers was a violation of her rights as a person, and that the studio did not compensate her for using her likeness.
Hustlers was written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, who is best known for directing Whip It, and starred Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Julia Stiles, Lizzo, Cardi B., and of course Jennifer Lopez.