EX-strip club hostess Samantha Barbash, who has inspired Jennifer Lopez’s new movie Husters, has told how wealthy businessmen would get plastered on champagne, splash £325,000 on hedonistic two-day parties and snort cocaine off strippers’ boobs.
Samantha Barbash, 44, from the Bronx, was the leader of a group of strippers and escorts accused of luring Fortune 500 company owners, rappers and even Brit soccer stars into Manhattan strip joints, spiking them with MDMA or ketamine, then rinsing them out of thousands of dollars.
A new Hollywood film about the scheme, starring J-Lo as ringleader Samantha, depicts the girls as targeting married men who would be too scared of their wives finding out to ever contest the bill – as well as Wall Street bankers as revenge for the financial crisis of the early 2000s.
But, in an exclusive interview with Fabulous Digital, Samantha has hit out at the movie, claiming that men came to her because they wanted to get “f**ked up” on drugs and most would gladly hand over thousands for a wild night of partying.
Remarkably, she says many of her former clients are still friends with her today – and reckons those who complained suffered from a case of “buyer’s remorse” when they sobered up the next day and saw how much they’d racked up on their credit cards.
“I’ll give an example of a typical night: the owner of one of the biggest companies in America comes to New York for three or four days,” Samantha, who has penned a new tell-all book about her past called Underscore, said.
“He wants to party so he calls me up. He’s staying at the Trump Soho hotel and he wants to take me and my girls out to dinner. We go to dinner, we have drinks and then he wants to go back to the strip club.
“He’s paying us anyway to hang out with him, but he wants to go to the club. This particular guy liked a lot of girls around and a lot of drugs.
“So we would be in the VIP room and there would be champagne flowing, he would be doing his drugs. I never did drugs. That was never my thing.
He’d be doing lines of cocaine off the girls’ ‘T[its] and A[ss]’. Well the lower tier girls
“By the end of the night we’d be ordering food because we were starving and there would be a lot of girls naked in the room dancing around.
“He’d be doing lines of cocaine off the girls’ ‘T[its] and A[ss]’. Well the lower tier girls. My girls never did any of that stuff, we would literally be sitting there counting the money we were making.
“I’m drinking champagne, eating food, and by four o’clock in the morning, 4:30, we’d be out of there.
“Then they put him in a limousine, he goes back to his hotel room. Usually he’ll take some girls with him. And the next day he’s calling me and wants to do it all again.
“And he’s still my friend today so if I was such a bad person, I don’t think he would still be my friend today.”
The unidentified tycoon spent over $400,000 (approx £325,000) on his lavish two-night party, according to Samantha.
I think in two days, just from the club money, I made around £64,000
“He spent $272,000 on the first day and about $130,000 on the second,” she recalled.
“He would pay the club and then they would split it up between us. So probably I think in two days, just from the club money, I made around $80,000 (approx £64,000).
“But we would also get cash from him outside too – he would give us tips and also take us shopping.”
Although she cannot go into details about her 2014 court case and legal issues – she did say she never forced drugs on anyone or touched a credit card.
And rather than targeting married Wall Street workers as revenge for the financial crisis – as portrayed by J-Lo in the movie – Samantha, who worked at New York strip clubs Hustler and Scores, says her only motivation was to make enough money to support her son as a single mum.
“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.
“I want to give you the real truth there. These men were coming in to get f**ked up on drugs. It’s not us supplying the drugs.
“The Wall Street guys, the majority are coming in high. They want to get away from the everyday life, meaning get away from their wives, get away from the stress in their jobs.
“They’re coming in in groups sometimes or alone and they’re looking to get high. If they don’t have the drugs, they’re looking for it.
We had a big British soccer player who would come over but I can’t give his name
“So we didn’t prey on married men or Wall Street guys thinking, ‘They’re f**king people over’. That was not the case.
“It could have been a doctor. It could have been a Wall Street guy. It could’ve been the sneaker guy.”
Samantha said she would organise similar wild nights for celebrities such as singers, rappers and sports stars – including a successful British soccer star who would fly to New York to party.
What is a Fortune 500 company?
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United Statescorporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years.
The list includes publicly held companies, along with privately held companies for which revenues are publicly available.
As of 2019, the Fortune 500 companies represent approximately two-thirds of the United States’s Gross Domestic Product with approximately $13.7 trillion in revenue, $1.1 trillion in profits, and $22.6 trillion in total market value.
These numbers also account for approximately 17% of the gross world product.
“We had a big British soccer player who would come over but I can’t give his name,” she said.
“I remember he wasn’t married but yeah it’d be the same kind of thing as the big shot company guy.”
Samantha said she would work with a group of four “higher tier” women – not those she got in legal trouble with – who would just spend time talking and hanging out with the clients.
Their job was to bring high-end rich clients into the strip club, and give them whatever they need to stay in the VIP room and keep spending money.
Then there would also be “lower tier” women called “fluffers” who according to Samantha were “basically the dirty girls who would do all the extra-curricular activities”.
Samantha says the majority of her clients were happy with her service – and she had a black book of rich, powerful and celebrity clientele who would come back again and again.
But there were some men who would regret spending so much afterwards.
There was plenty of guys who would spend $70, 100, 200,000 and there was no complaint
“There was some clientele that would come in and spend, whether it was $2,000 or $50,000, and they would be fine with it that night because you have to remember the guys are drunk and they’re on drugs, she said.
“And yes they would wake up the next day and say ‘Why did I spend that?’ And of course they would try to charge back and some would win and some would lose. So yeah there was buyer’s remorse. 100 percent.
“But there was also plenty of guys who would spend $70, 100, 200,000 and there was no complaint.
“It wasn’t like ‘Oh hey we’re drugging you to take your money and make you spend $100,000′. Nobody can force somebody to spend that kind of money and then come in more than one time.”
But she admits that sometimes she would feel bad for the men who would come into the club and spend a fortune.
“I’m going to be honest, there was one or two nights when I was at Hustler and the guys were really f**ked up, not that I did it – they would come in f**ked up and just keep going,” she said.
I’ve seen a lot of beautiful girls go downhill and lose everything
“And I thought that the credit card should be cut off but the club didn’t want to shut off the credit cards because they want to keep making money.
“But I couldn’t do anything, I wasn’t allowed to leave, the club runs the show. So yeah there were some nights that I did feel guilty, 100 percent, but that had nothing to do with me. That has to do with the club. I never ran a credit card ever.”
Samantha was sentenced to five years’ probation after pleading guilty to conspiracy, assault and grand larceny in the April 2017 case.
But surprisingly she says getting into trouble was a “blessing in disguise” as it allowed her to leave the industry and open her own spa.
“I’ve seen a lot of beautiful girls go downhill and lose everything,” she recalled.
“I always say in this business have goals, save your money and stay away from the drugs because you’re supposed to make the money and not let the money make you.
Getting into trouble was actually a blessing in disguise
“I’m going to be honest, had I not gotten in trouble, I don’t know if I would’ve been able to get out of that business because it’s so hard to say no to making five, 10, $15,000 a night.
“I tried many times before to open a spa and different types of businesses and I always ended up going back because the money draws you in.
“Even when I wasn’t working, they would call me and say ‘This client is here and he’s asking for you’ So it just sucks you back in. So getting into trouble was actually a blessing in disguise.”
Samantha, who hasn’t yet seen the film, believes the movie is not true to life – and also thinks J-Lo’s co-star Cardi B would have been a better choice to play her than J-Lo.
“I didn’t see the movie, but I know J-Lo portrays me as being a stripper and stripping on the pole and I’ve never been on the pole,” Samantha said.
“Even when I was a stripper, I don’t even know how to get on the pole. I would probably crack my head open.
“So, you know, in the beginning I was a little offended that she portrayed me in that way.
“I love Jennifer Lopez. I used to be a big fan and I’m still fan, and I’m flattered that she decided to take on that role.
“But at the end of the day – and forget about the money this is not a money thing – but I feel like they should have actually sat down and got the true story and then they could add the Hollywood touches to it.
“I saw bits and pieces of the movie. I’m sure it looks cute and they have a great cast, I’m a big fan of Cardi B.
“And I know she is not an actress, but she was a dancer and she came from that lifestyle – even though she worked at different types of clubs and she didn’t have the Fortune 500 clients that I did – I think she would’ve played a better part.
J-Lo portrays me as being a stripper and stripping on the pole and I’ve never been on the pole
“I feel they should have got the true story because it looks like a very cute girl movie – like a chick flick. Everybody’s going to go see it because it’s J-Lo and she’s sexy dancing on a stripper pole but real life was not a chick flick. My book is not a chick book.”
Now a legitimate businesswoman with a successful medical spa in New York, Samantha says she is upset she has to relive a painful chapter of her life that she thought she’d moved on from.
She is even considering legal action against the production company who made the movie who she claims used her life story without permission.
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But she’s keen to set the record straight with her new book, out later this month, which she desired as “a mixture of 50 Shades of Gray and Molly’s Game”.
“I never wanted to be talking about this ever,” she said. “After I pled guilty and got probation, every show was reaching out to me for interviews but I never did any.
“To be honest with you, when the movie first started being made, it brought so much attention to me that I was crying because I never wanted to relive this again.
“But at this point I don’t care anymore because I just want people to know what goes on behind closed doors and hear the true story.
“And I have a lot of support from my fiance, my family, – especially my son and my fiance they are the ones that have been pushing me to do the book and to tell the true story because why should Jennifer Lopez, as much as I love her, and her production company do this movie that’s not correct, not factual.”
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