“Hustlers” may have been a massive success at the box office, but one person who isn’t celebrating is the woman who inspired the flick.
The film, based on the 2015 New York Magazine article titled “The Hustlers At Scores,” follows a group of Manhattan strippers as they discover they can make serious money by turning the tables on their wealthy Wall Street clientele. The story has been compared to that of a “Robin Hood” tale in that the ladies would argue they were stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.
“JLo betrayed me,” the 45-year-old alleged. “She didn’t even reach out to the woman that she portrayed. I think that’s a little… degrading as an actress.”
“They pretty much basically stole my story,” she continued. “I wouldn’t sign my rights away. I wasn’t giving up my TV and film rights for peanuts. JLo doesn’t work for free, why should I? I’m a businesswoman.”
The Bronx-born brunette told the outlet that while the 50-year-old herself never reached out, the film’s producer did contact her lawyer. However, the producer made an offer she had no trouble refusing.
“The producer hit up my lawyer,” Barbash explained. “But it was a joke. I don’t even want to embarrass them of what they’d thought – put this way, I have Hermes bags that cost more than what they wanted to give me.”
According to the outlet, there was one scene in “Hustlers” that rubbed Barbash the wrong way, prompting her to walk “out of the movie super early.”
“She basically defamed my character,” alleged Barbash. “As a mother, there’s a part that she’s cooking drugs in a stove with her daughter there. First of all, it’s just not an accurate movie. Without JLo, they wouldn’t even have a movie, to be honest. There is no storyline. It’s just Jennifer. People are going to see the movie because JLo’s in a stripper pole… I’ve never been in a stripper pole like that in my life.”
“If you’re portraying my part, me the ringleader… then you should have actually met the person you’re portraying to study my mannerism,” she added. “My mannerism wasn’t like the way she played. Yes, I’m a boss and a leader but that’s about it. I’m not cold-hearted.”
Barbash told TMZ that there was another Bronx native who would have been the perfect person to portray her on the big screen — Cardi B.
“She did great,” said Barbash about the rapper’s performance. “I loved her. Cardi was in the strip club business. Even though it was a different strip club than I worked, I think with an acting lesson she would’ve been great.”
TMZ reported “Hustlers” grossed over $33 million in its opening weekend. Barbash revealed on Instagram she’s releasing a book on October 1 titled “Underscore,” which promises to tell all.
Vanity Fair reported on Tuesday Barbash’s name has made headlines for the first time since 2017, when she pleaded guilty to conspiracy, assault and grand larceny in exchange for five years’ probation. She, along with other colleagues, allegedly drugged men and stole at least $200,000 from them.
Barbash told the outlet she declined to participate in the production of “Hustlers.”
“I decided not to because I wasn’t going to give my film rights away,” she explained. “They were trying to pay me a minuscule amount… I was never looking for fame. I was out of the public eye since my court case was over. The reason I got back in the public eye was because of Jennifer playing me. What that being said, they were going to give the Hollywood version. I was going to give the real version.”
Jennifer Lopez appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to reveal she took pole dancing lessons from a Cirque Du Soleil cast member in preparation for the film. She noted that the rigorous training caused her many bumps and bruises. Lopez later showed off a video of herself learning some moves for her role.
A rep for Lopez, as well as STX, the production company behind “Hustlers,” did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.