Former stripper Samantha Barbash emerges from a movie theater in New York after seeing Hustlers – the hit movie starring JLO based on her how she drugged and ripped off wealthy clients
- Former stripper Samantha Barbash saw ‘Hustlers,’ the film she inspired
- Jennifer Lopez stars in the movie playing a character inspired by Barbash
- Barbash and four gal pals caught a late night showing of the movie in Manhattan
- She emerged from the theater giving a victory sign and saying, ‘read my book’
- Hustlers exceeded industry expectations with a $33 million debut at the box office
Former stripper Samantha Barbash flashed the victory sign after going to see ‘Hustlers,’ the hit movie based on the true story of a scheme she was involved in to defraud wealthy strip club clients.
The film, starring Jennifer Lopez as Ramona – a character based on Barbash – delivered better than industry expectations with $33 million in its debut this weekend.
Barbash, who like JLo is from the Bronx, had snuck into iPic Theatres in Manhattan for an 11pm showing on Saturday with four gal pals.
Former stripper Samantha Barbash (above) emerges from the new film ‘Hustlers’ on Saturday
Barbash, 45, had snuck into a late-night showing of the new film at Manhattan’s iPic Theatres
The former stripper and single mom looks visibly emotional (above) after seeing the film, which outperformed expectations and was topping the box office this weekend
Barbash, as she exited the theater, confirmed it was her first time seeing the film and declined to comment on JLo’s performance.
Having complained previously that the producers, which include JLo, were capitalizing on her story, Barbash proclaimed ‘read my book,’ before giving the camera a victory sign and plugging her social media handles.
The movie came in second at the box office, after the horror sequel ‘It: Chapter Two brought in $40 million in its second week.
Hustler’s stellar performance was buoyed by positive reviews and strong word of mouth, reports Variety.
‘It was the reviews, the level of audience response and a great script from a filmmaker who had a spectacular vision,’ said Adam Fogelson, chairman of the film’s distributor STXFilms, referring to the movie’s director Lorene Scafaria.
The film is based on a 2015 New York magazine article, ‘The Hustlers at Scores,’ by Jessica Pressler.
Pressler had interviewed Barbash for the story, which details how she, Roselyn Keo, Karina Pascucci and Marsi Rosen, drugged wealthy strip club clients to ring up unauthorized, high-priced transactions on their credit cards.
Samantha Barbash (left) inspired the character Ramona in the new film ‘Hustlers,’ based on the true story of a scheme that defrauded wealthy strip club clients. Jennifer Lopez (right) plays Ramona in the movie.
One client, duped of more than $100,000 off his credit card, ended the scheme by going to authorities.
Barbash, a 45-year-old single mom, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, assault and grand larceny in exchange for five years probation.
She started in the stripper business at age 19 and would later go on to become a hostess at New York’s Scores Gentleman’s Club, where the alleged fraud took place after the 2008 recession hit.
She said was not targeting her clients as revenge for the financial crisis, but only wanted to make enough money to support her son.
‘Robbing bankers because they robbed Wall Street or whatever – that never crossed my mind,’ she said. ‘What crossed my mind is I’m a single mom and I need to support my son.’