‘Hustlers’: Ex-Stripper Who Inspired JLo’s Role Says Cardi B Should Have Played Her Instead

Samantha Barbash made thousands as a top hostess at strip clubs. Jennifer Lopez’s role in ‘Hustlers’ is based on her life, but Samantha thinks Cardi B would’ve been a better fit.

Samantha Barbash –  also known as Samantha Foxxx – has penned a sordid new tell-all entitled Underscore, which documents her time entertaining some of the wealthiest men on the planet. Samantha purportedly serves as the inspiration behind Jennifer Lopez‘s character “Ramona” in the new film Hustlers. And although Samantha is “flattered” JLo has taken on her role as ringleader in a crew of strippers that scammed high-end clients out of thousands of dollars, she EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife that she thinks rapper Cardi B “could relate more” to her character. The “Press” hit-maker plays Diamond in the new film which was released on Sept. 13.

Samantha explained that she was approached by the film’s producers to share her story, but she chose not to take part in the movie because she didn’t feel it was her true story. “I said it from day one, even to the producer. Cardi doesn’t have the acting skills that Jennifer does, but Cardi could relate more to who I was because even though she wasn’t in the same club, we were in the same industry,” she said. “If Cardi took some acting lessons and shadowed me I’m sure that she would have played a better role for my character.”

“I’m flattered that Jennifer wanted to play me to be quite honest with you. She’s Jennifer Lopez,” Samantha continued. “But at the end of the day, I feel like it was a little disrespectful that she’s never even taken the time out — even if I didn’t want to partake in the movie — to study my mannerisms, to study the person who I am. You’ve never met me, and you’re playing this wonderful role. She doesn’t know who I am. Or who I was.

“I’m not saying that Jennifer didn’t play a phenomenal role, and the movie did look cute, but it’s just not accurate. It’s just not an accurate movie,” the mother-of-one said. Samantha went on to explain what her lifestyle was like and how she didn’t feel that was accurately described in the film. “In the movie that’s all Hollywood, that’s not truthful. I never went on a stripper pole in my life. I feel like the movie is not focused on what the strip clubs used to be. When I was in that business, I was a hostess and back then the dancers would have to wear long gowns, closed toe shoes. They couldn’t show their tattoos. So I feel like they focused on the strip clubs today. Like the big booty clubs, where the girls are twerking. It’s not the type of club that I worked in by any means.”

Samantha also described the process that was used to make money from A-list clientele including R&B stars, athletes, and politicians. “We would bring them into the club and get them in and we would keep them. But drugs change people’s personalities. It’s like drinking, when you’re under the influence of any type of drugs or alcohol, you’re easier to spend money. So they know the more drugs, the more alcohol, the guys are going to spend more money,” she explained.

“And some were fine with it because some would be clients for many years. And still clients of mine from years ago that were just friends, they’ll call me and give me a stock tip or business advice. So I couldn’t have been that bad of a person,” Samantha said. “But there was no luring them in. There was something called fishing where the club would make the girls go out on dead nights to look for the higher end clientele in these steak houses, high-end hotels, etc. They would send different girls to different places and we would have to come back with somebody. And if we didn’t, we weren’t making money that night.”

But Samantha has completely turned her life around following her arrest in June 2014. She was placed on five years of probation in 2017 after pleading guilty to conspiracy, assault and grand larceny for her role as ringleader, but now is a successful business owner. She is engaged and owns several successful businesses including Perfect Silhouette Medical Spa in Queens, New York.

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