Hustlers: the real women behind Jennifer Lopez’s new stripper movie

Photo credit: Hustlers/Instagram
Photo credit: Hustlers/Instagram

From Cosmopolitan

If you haven’t watched the trailer for Jennifer Lopez’s new film Hustlers yet, then what have you been doing with your time – keeping up to date with all the latest goings on in Parliament? Don’t bother, mate.

Hustlers, which as well as J.Lo, also stars Constance Wu, Cardi B, Lili Reinhert, Lizzo, Julia Stiles and Keke Palmer, is based on an article published in The Cut, called, ‘The Hustlers at Scores’. It’s about a group of strippers who swindled a number of wealthy Wall Street clients out of tons of money. Headed up by former stripper, Samantha Barbash (a modern-day Robin Hood, if you will) in the early 2000s, these women preyed on rich men who came to the Hustler Club, New York. They drugged them ‘a little’, got their credit card details, then got them to spend sh*t-loads on booze and private dances. All before sending them home to their wives.

That was the key: married men would be far less likely to complain the next day when they realise they’ve spent a small fortune at a strip club.

When Samantha – who went by the pseudonym Samantha Foxx – gave up stripping herself, she recruited a crew of women to lure the men into the club. These included Roselyn Keo (who it’s believed Constance’s character, Destiny, is based on in Hustlers), Karina Pascucci and Marsi Rosen.

Roselyn told The New York Post: “It sounds so bad to say we were drugging people. But it was, like, normal.

“What’s an extra $20,000 to them? It wasn’t like we pulled them off the street. They had history. They’d been to Hustler. They walked in ready to party.”

But they didn’t walk in expecting to have their credit cards rinsed quite as much as they did...

“I was on the phone with American Express half the time, verifying his mother’s maiden name, his last purchases. I did it right in front of them,” Roselyn recalled.

“I would ask them really quickly, ‘What’s your mother’s maiden name? What’s your social security number?’ We were untouchable.”

“Yeah, we slipped an extra one (pill) they didn’t know about. But all of it goes hand in hand – sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. You know?”

Unfortunately, the scheme fell apart in 2014 after the women preyed on single cardiologist Dr Zyad Younan. After being shocked to find an American Express bill for $135k as a result of night of partying, he reported the charges as fraudulent. The women and the club demanded he pay the bill, but after the case went to court, a judge ruled in the doctor’s favour.

After this, police re-examined old reports from other men claiming to have been swindled at these clubs, and the trail led to Samantha and her Merry Women friends.

Samantha, Roselyn, Karina and Marsi admitted drugging Dr Younan and stealing his credit card to pay for lap dances and alcohol.

View this post on Instagram

Consult a physician first

A post shared by Karina Pascucci (@karinchkaa) on Feb 5, 2019 at 8:24pm PST

Samantha was sentenced to five years' probation for conspiracy, assault, and grand larceny. Roselyn also received probation, after admitting to grand larceny and attempted assault.

Karina and Marsi were sentenced to spend weekends in jail for four months.

Despite her time as a ‘hustler’, Samantha is now on the straight and narrow. She told The Sun, “I own a spa and am just about to open a second. I’m a business owner now. And one day I would love to give my side of the story.”

Hustlers is due for release in September.

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