Samantha Barbash is an American entrepreneur and former adult entertainment host whose real life story with Roselyn Keo formed the basis for the movie Hustlers, starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. The film was adapted from Jessica Pressler's 2015 article in New York magazine, "The Hustlers at Scores". Barbash hass written her own memoirs, entitled Underscore.
Known professionally as Samantha Foxx, she became an adult entertainment host at 19 and later a hostess at Scores Gentlemen's Club in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and in the same borough's Hustlers Club. Many of their biggest spending clients were highly paid Wall Street brokers. After the Wall Street bubble collapsed it took more effort for Barbash, Keo and their friends to make money. So they started calling old clients, suggesting they meet up, in an ordinary bar or restaurant, for an ordinary date. However, at a key point, where the target had drunk enough to be suggestible, her friends would arrive, and suggest they go to a strip club. They had arrangements with certain strip clubs to get a generous kickback from the target's credit card bill. Once in a private room, at the strip club they would call rack up expensive charges on the target's credit card. Sometimes they would covertly drug the target to make him suggestible. The drug cocktail they used would also wipe the evening from the target's memory.
Barbash was on probation for five years after pleading guilty of conspiracy, assault and grand larceny. Following her conviction, Barbash opened a spa offering cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery.
In April 2019, Barbash announced she was going to try to stop the film's release, citing defamation and that the producers did not acquire the rights to tell her story. In April Barbash said she was flattered Jennifer Lopez was playing her. But, by the time the film was released she said that Cardi B, who played a smaller role in the film, would have been a better choice.
Bay January, 2020, there were concerns over her book, Underscore. Barbash's web-site allowed individuals who wanted to read the book to prepay, with publication coming in September 2019. Page Six magazine reported she had pre-sold 45,000 copies, and her share of this sale would be about $1 million, but that reader still had not received their books, prompting their headline "Has the woman who inspired ‘Hustlers’ run another $1 million hustle?".
- Margaret Abrams (2019-09-17). "Who is Samantha Barbash? The real life true story the Hustlers movie is based on". The Evening Standard (New York City). Archived from the original on 2019-10-06. https://web.archive.org/web/20191006055917/https://www.standard.co.uk/insider/alist/who-is-samantha-barbash-the-real-life-true-story-the-hustlers-movie-is-based-on-a4238361.html. Retrieved 2019-09-18. "Barbash was on probation for five years after pleading guilty of conspiracy, assault and grand larceny. She’s now claiming that Lopez and producers did not secure the rights to her life story."
- Jeanette Settembre (2019-09-04). "Samantha Barbash, stripper who inspired J-Lo 'Hustlers' movie, blows lid off CEO spending". Fox Business. Archived from the original on 2019-09-19. https://web.archive.org/web/20190919140018/https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/hustler-samantha-barbash-jennifer-lopez-fortune-500-ceo-recession. Retrieved 2019-09-18. "She’s the inspiration behind Jennifer Lopez’s character in the upcoming movie “Hustlers,” which follows street-smart former strip club employees out for revenge on their Wall Street clients."
- Josh Margolin; Jennifer Joseph; Allie Yang (2019-09-11). "The real-life 'Hustlers' who lured men into NYC strip clubs to swindle them out of thousands: 'Little by little, you find yourself doing things that sound crazy'". ABC News. https://abcnews.go.com/US/real-life-hustlers-lured-men-nyc-strip-clubs/story?id=65499900. Retrieved 2019-09-18. "Jessica Pressler, a contributing editor at New York Magazine, wrote “The Hustlers at Scores” article about this fishing ring, which was published in 2015. From her reporting, Pressler told ABC News that the women concocted a drug cocktail that consisted of 'Just a sprinkle of MDMA and ketamine.'"
- Rebekah Kuschmider (2019-09-17). "Meet Samantha Foxxx — The Real Stripper Behind JLo's 'Hustler' Character". Your Tango. https://www.yourtango.com/2019328095/who-samantha-barbash-aka-samantha-foxx-new-details-real-life-stripper-behind-jlos-hustler-character. Retrieved 2019-09-18. "Barbash didn't participate in the film herself, saying it wasn't fully accurate. Instead, she wrote a book called Underscore, telling her version of the story."
- Joe Marino; Larry Celona; Natalie O'Neill (2019-04-03). "Strip club scammer claims Jennifer Lopez stole her life story for ‘Hustlers’". New York Post. Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. https://web.archive.org/web/20190403192227/https://nypost.com/2019/04/03/strip-club-scammer-claims-jennifer-lopez-stole-her-life-story-for-hustlers/. Retrieved 2019-09-18. "She told The Post she plans to sue the production company behind the flick, STX Entertainment, and the Bronx-bred pop diva-turned-movie star."
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- Jessica Pressler (December 2015). "The hustlers at Scores". The Cut. https://www.thecut.com/2015/12/robin-hood-strippers-scores-c-v-r.html. Retrieved 2019-09-18. "Samantha, born Samantha Barbash, was one of Hustler’s top moneymakers. A single mother from the Bronx, she’d started dancing at 19, and, like an ornamental plant purposefully stunted to conform to a certain ideal, she’d been shaped by the industry in which she grew up. Her body was Jessica Rabbit curvy, her lips Angelina Jolie puffy; her hair, which concealed tattoos of a cascade of stars running down her neck, was Cleopatra black. Buried within this ultrafeminine package was a mercenary streak worthy of Gordon Gekko."
- James Beal; Georgette Culley (2019-04-06). "Real-life sex and drug hustlers behind JLo's new movie rinsed thousands of dollars out of Wall Street traders". news.com.au. https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/true-stories/reallife-sex-and-drug-hustlers-behind-jlos-new-movie-rinsed-thousands-of-dollars-out-of-wall-street-traders/news-story/f3dfe06c8336aa48fe5574d19b6fc011. Retrieved 2019-09-18. "JLo was snapped as filming began in New York last week — and speaking exclusively to The Sun, former stripper Samantha, 44, said last night: 'I'm really flattered Jennifer wants to play me. But if she wants to do it, she should talk to me. Everyone who knows me knows the truth.'"
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- Mara Siegler (2020-01-20). "Has the woman who inspired ‘Hustlers’ run another $1 million hustle?". Page Six magazine. https://pagesix.com/2020/01/20/has-the-woman-who-inspired-hustlers-run-another-1-million-hustle/. Retrieved 2020-10-16. "Barbash promoted the tome, “Underscore,” saying it would be released in September 2019. Then the release date was pushed back several times, and now social media links to buy the book have been removed. People who coughed up for the book are asking questions."
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