Meet Samantha Foxxx — The Real Stripper Behind JLo's 'Hustler' Character

Photo: Instagram
Who Is Samantha Barbash AKA Samantha Foxxx? New Details On The Real Life Stripper

Jennifer Lopez has a new film coming out called Hustlers, where she plays a stripper who hatches a plot to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from rich clients. The story is based on the real-life exploits of women named Samantha Barbash and Roselyn Keo, who, along with girls who worked at high-end strip clubs, drugged clients and stole money from them. 

Barbash isn't involved in the film because she says it isn't true to life. Moreover, she isn't totally into having JLo play her on the big screen. She would have rather cast Cardi B in the role because the rapper comes from the same club background.

Who is Samantha Barbash? Read on for all the details. 

1. The real Ramona

In Hustlers Jennifer Lopez plays Ramona, a stripper who steals from her rich clients. The character is loosely based on Barbash, who made waves for running just that sort of scheme in New York. Barbash, who uses the stage named Samantha Foxxx, and Roselyn Keo worked out a plot to take advantage of their rich clients. They would get them drunk or drug them and then run up their credit cards. They finally got caught when one of the victims recorded them saying that they had slipped drugs into his drink then spent all his money. Keo was unrepentant about it, telling Vanity Fair: "What’s an extra $20,000 to them? It wasn’t like we pulled them off the street…They’d been to Hustler, they’d been to Rick’s, they’d been to Scores. They all walked in ready to party. And yeah, we slipped an extra one that they didn’t know about. But all of it goes hand in hand—sex, drugs, and rock and roll. You know?”

While some people saw it as a Robin Hood story where club girls robbed the rich to support themselves, Barbash was more pragmatic about it. “Robbing bankers because they robbed Wall Street or whatever — that never crossed my mind,” Barbash told Vanity Fair. “What crossed my mind is I’m a single mom and I need to support my son.” They were both eventually caught and tried for multiple counts of conspiracy, grand larceny, forgery, and assault. They both ended up with probation. 

2. Providing the fun

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. Barbash released an excerpt from her book to Page Six where she describes the kind of work she did. She was employed by high-end clubs and worked with clients to provide girls for parties: "My clients were mostly VIP clients at Scores and Hustler... My job was to provide the fun parts, such as the girls and setting the vibe... I would arrange for the hottest girls to come to parties. These girls made top dollar and had to have perfect bodies with beautiful faces to match. Then came the ‘fluffers.’ These were the lower tier of girls who would do the ‘dirty work.’ Sometimes their tasks would include an array of sexual activity...These parties always came with huge payouts for me and the girls.”

She went on to remember a party where a musician paid each girl $8000 for the night. Another client dropped $115,000 for the night, which Barbash says "This wasn’t a big deal because it was considered a small amount of money." 

Barbash was a club hostess.

3. Using drugs for the payday

It wasn't all fun and games to get clients to pay big bucks. Barbash tells Hollywood Life that everyone involved knew that drugs and alcohol got clients to spend more money. "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,” 

RELATED: Who Is Lauren Hunter? New Details About The Fitness Model Who Says She Sexted With A-Rod While He Was Dating J-Lo

4. "Cardi could relate more to who I was"

Barbash told Hollywood Life that another reason she wasn't into the film is that the casting wasn't her first choice. She thought JLo lacked the life experience for the part. She would have preferred Cardi B, who danced in strip clubs, play the role. She understood the casting choice however: “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.” Cardi B does appear in the flim as a character named Diamond. 

Cardi Bi plays Diamond.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

5. JLo didn't talk to her

Not only was Lopez Barbash's second choice, Jenny From the Block didn't spend much time trying to learn how to act like the inspiration for the role. “I’m flattered that Jennifer wanted to play me to be quite honest with you. She’s Jennifer Lopez,” Samantha told Hollywood Life. “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."

RELATED: Who Are Jade and Baddie Gi? New Details About The Strip Club Bartenders Cardi B Allegedly Attacked

6. What the movie gets wrong

Barbash says that the film doesn't reflect the reality of the club scene back when she was working there.  "It’s just not an accurate movie,” the former club hostess said. “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.”

Barbash was put on five years of probation in 2017 after pleading guilty to conspiracy, assault and grand larceny. She is now engaged to be married and owns several businesses including Perfect Silhouette Medical Spa in Queens, New York.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.