Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Hustlers’ Character Inspiration, Samantha Barbash, Is Unhappy With JLo’s Pole Dancing

Samantha Barbash, the woman who inspired Jennifer Lopez's 'Hustlers' character, says she thinks Cardi B was a better choice to play her.

Jennifer Lopez attends New York Special Screening of “Hustlers”
John Parra / Getty Images

Samantha Barbash, the woman who inspired Jennifer Lopez's 'Hustlers' character, says she thinks Cardi B was a better choice to play her.

Jennifer Lopez’s pole dancing scenes in her new movie, Hustlers, are getting tons of buzz, but there is one woman who is not a fan of JLo’s acrobatic striptease. Samantha Barbash, the woman on whom Jennifer’s stripper character is based, is trying to set the record straight about the events portrayed in the movie, and the pole dancing is just one of many problems she has with the highly anticipated film.

During an interview with The Sun, 45-year-old Barbash shared her feelings about being played by 50-year-old Lopez in Hustlers, which is based on a true story. She also listed the numerous issues she has with the movie. While Lopez’s character bears a different name, Barbash is the inspiration for Ramona, a mama bear stripper who morphs into a criminal mastermind in the movie. She devises a plan to fleece wealthy Wall Street men by drugging them and maxing out their credit cards when they come to her and her posse of stripper pals looking for a good time.

For one thing, Samantha Barbash insists that she never actually did anything illegal, even though she pleaded guilty to assault, conspiracy, and grand larceny in 2017. She admits that men would come to the New York City club where she worked messed up on drugs, but she never administered the illegal substances and “never ran a credit card ever.” According to Barbash, she occasionally felt guilty when men ran up exceedingly large tabs, but she blames the club for not cutting them off.

Barbash also said that she never targeted Wall Street guys for revenge, which is a major motivation for Jennifer Lopez’s character and the other strippers in Hustlers. She revealed that her services also earned her massive amounts of money from celebrities, sports figures, doctors, and other rich clients who didn’t work on Wall Street.

And speaking of her services, Barbash explained that her job was to organize nights of debauchery by having a group of “higher tier” women lure men to the club. Once they got the guys there, the men would be introduced to a different group of women called “fluffers.” Barbash described these employees as “basically the dirty girls who would do all the extra-curricular activities.”

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Jennifer Lopez has said that learning how to pole dance for her role in Hustlers is one of the “hardest things” she’s ever done. However, according to Barbash, JLo shouldn’t have bothered mastering the moves that she shows off in the movie.

“I didn’t see the movie, but I know JLo portrays me as being a stripper and stripping on the pole and I’ve never been on the pole,” Barbash revealed. “Even when I was a stripper, I don’t even know how to get on the pole. I would probably crack my head open.”

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Barbash also said that she thinks another member of the Hustlers cast would have been a better choice to portray Ramona: rapper Cardi B.

“And I know she is not an actress, but she was a dancer and she came from that lifestyle – even though she worked at different types of clubs and she didn’t have the Fortune 500 clients that I did – I think she would’ve played a better part,” Barbash said.

Barbash revealed that getting in legal trouble forced her to leave the world of strip clubs behind, which she considers a “blessing in disguise.” She only served five years probation, and now she runs her own spa. She’s also looking to make bank by sharing more of her side of the story in an upcoming book, titled Underscore.

Hustlers hits theaters on September 13, and Samantha Barbash will attempt to capitalize on its success at the box office by releasing her book later this month.