On Tuesday, federal Judge Denise Cote in the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York dismissed the $ 40 million lawsuit filed by Barbash against the Lopez-owned Nuyorican Productions, STX Entertainment, Gloria Sanchez Productions and Pole Sisters LLC over claims the company “exploited” her likeness and her story without her permission.
“The defendants’ May 29, 2020, motion to dismiss is granted. The Clerk of Court shall enter judgment for the defendants and close the case,” the documents read, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The 47-year-old Barbash filed her initial complaint in January and claimed the film defamed her in the process by “using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child,” People magazine reported at the time.
“Anyone who views the film will believe plaintiff to be an individual of little to no moral or ethical values, devoid of any loyalty to her colleagues, under the influence of hard drugs, and with misandrist tendencies,” the court papers stated.
Barbash further alleged that the movie’s producers attempted to “obtain a consent and waiver from Ms. Barbash for the production of the film and their ultimate portrayal” of her, which Barbash claimed she refused to sign.
“The film depicts Ms. Barbash, played by Jennifer Lopez (‘JLO’) as the ringleader of a group of adult dancers who drugged their patrons and stole exuberant amounts of money from them while in their incapacitated state,” according to the initial lawsuit.
“Defendants did not take caution to protect the rights of Ms. Barbash by creating a fictionalized character, or by creating a composite of characters to render JLO’s character a new fictitious one; rather they engaged in a systematic effort to make it well-known that JLO was playing Ms. Barbash.”
Barbash was seeking $ 20 million in compensatory damages and $ 20 million in punitive damages.
“Hustlers” opened with an impressive $ 33 million gate and to date has grossed just under $ 105 million in the U.S. and Canada alone.
Lopez, 51, was nominated for Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for her performance in the film, which also stars Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Keke Palmer and Julia Stiles.