Jennifer Lopez’s production company beats lawsuit lodged by ‘Hustlers’ inspiration

(NEW YORK) — Jennifer Lopez has prevailed in the lawsuit brought against her and her Hustlers production company by Samantha Barbash, the inspiration behind Lopez’s character in the film.

“The Defendants’ May 29, 2020 motion to dismiss is granted.  The Clerk of Court shall enter judgment for the Defendants and close the case,” read court documents signed Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote and obtained by Entertainment Weekly.

The lawsuit alleged that Lopez’s company, Nuyorican Productions, used Barbash’s likeness in the film, without her permission.

However, the court ruled that the film, while inspired by journalist Jessica Pressler’s 2015 article The Hustlers at Scores, which detailed Barbash’s involvement in a similar, real-life plot, did not use Barbash’s “name, portrait, picture, or voice” in the movie, according to the documents.

Barbash, a 47-year-old former strip club hostess, pleaded guilty in 2017 to conspiracy, assault and grand larceny charges after she, Roselyn Keo — who inspired the film’s lead character, Destiny, played by Constance Wu — and two other colleagues were accused of drugging men and stealing at least $200,000 from them.

Hustlers grossed more than $157 million worldwide, and earned J-Lo Oscar buzz, though she was ultimately snubbed by the Academy when nominations rolled around.

By George Costantino
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