Jennifer Lopez wrote letters to a Los Angeles man six years ago, begging him to send her nude pictures of himself, according to a lawsuit filed in L.A. and flatly dismissed as "a desperate attempt for notoriety" by the American Idol judge's representatives.
In fact, they say, Jennifer Lopez has never met Ruiz nor communicated with him in any way. And they just might be telling the truth on this one. The entertainment gossip site TMZ says that the whole thing stems from a "catfish" scheme dreamed up by a 53-year-old woman who claims to operate a Jennifer Lopez fan mail service.
A catfish scheme is an attempt to lure someone into a fake, long-distance relationship, usually online via social media — though the letters that Ruiz says he received from Jennifer Lopez came through the old-fashioned U.S. Postal Service. The term derives from the 2012 documentary film Catfish, which purports to document a filmmaker's online romance with a woman who turns out to be an imposter.
Ruiz is suing for the relatively small amount of $10,000, claiming sexual harassment against the 44-year-old star, who gained fame in 1998 when as a largely unknown actress she was cast as the lead role in Selena, a biographical film about the slain Mexican-American pop star Selena Quintanilla-Perez.
Ruiz alleges that Jennifer Lopez sent him unsolicited letters dangling the prospect of a music career and even a romance with her — if he would send her photographs of himself "with and without clothes," The New York Daily News reports.
"I am interested in you," read one of the letters from someone claiming to be Jennifer Lopez and sent to Ruiz in 2008. "I have plans on leaving my husband. But I can't say much right now so that's it for now. Send me pictures of you both with clothes and without clothes."
Jennifer Lopez also asked for demo recordings of the aspiring musician's work, he says. Ruiz became so depressed when he sent the material that the supposed Jennifer Lopez requested and then heard nothing back that he sought therapy.
But TMZ reported that it had traced the letters to a P.O. box owned by a 53-year-old woman whom it did not name. When TMZ's snoops reached the woman via phone, "she nervously concocted a lame explanation about operating a Jennifer Lopez fan mail exchange... and hung up on us," the site reported.
Jennifer Lopez is no stranger to lawsuits. She was sued in 2012 by her former chauffeur Hakob Manoukian who claimed that Benny Medina, the manager of Jennifer Lopez, forced him into quitting his job.
Jennifer Lopez countersued, claiming that Manoukian was simply engaged in an extortion scheme, but a judge tossed the "Jenny From The Block" singer's countersuit.