Federal Judge Denise Cote dismissed the $40 million lawsuit on Tuesday, which was filed by Barbash against the Lopez-owned Nuyorican Productions, STX Entertainment, Gloria Sanchez Productions and Pole Sisters LLC. She claims the company “exploited” her likeness and her story for the film 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.
Barbash filed her initial complaint back in January, claiming the film defamed her in the process by “using and manufacturing illegal substances in her home where she lived with her child.”
“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.
She further alleged that the producers on the film attempted to “obtain a consent and waiver from Ms. Barbash for the production of the film and their ultimate portrayal” of her, which she claims 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,” the initial lawsuit stated. “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.
This lawsuit being thrown out is a big win for Latina Powerhouse winner Jennifer Lopez, her production company, and the film. Hustlers hit theaters on September 12, 2019 and earned $33 million on opening weekend. To date, the movie has grossed just under $105 million in the U.S. and Canada alone.
This is obviously a film close to Lopez’s heart, as she was nominated for Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards for her performance. Back in September, she celebrated the movie’s one year anniversary by posting a compilation of clips from the film on Instagram, writing, “Celebrating ONE YEAR of @hustlersmovie!!!” and tagging her costars.