Cardiologist victim behind Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Hustlers’ breaks silence
The bachelor cardiologist who’s the real-life victim behind the new Jennifer Lopez movie “Hustlers” is telling his story for the first time — about being repeatedly drugged and swindled by a greedy pack of strippers.
“I was naive and foolish,” Dr. Zyad Kivarkis Younan, a heart doctor from Holmdel, NJ, recalls to ABC News’ “20/20” of getting slapped with a $135,000 bill from Manhattan’s notorious Scores strip club — yet having no memory of ever going there.
Three times, he’d been drugged over drinks by his date — a sexy brunette who’d convinced him she was a nursing student.
And each time, she would spike his wine and drive him, groggy, to the strip club, where she worked as a bartender.
“I started feeling warm, flushy and [my] vision was a little blurry and cloudy,” he remembers now of the drugs taking effect.
“I really didn’t think twice… and then I don’t remember much after that.”
Once at Scores, a ring of strippers would join her in making sure the groggy doctor was recorded having fun on club surveillance — while they rang up tens of thousands of dollars in charges for lap dances, tips and private room rental fees.
“I believed her, I trusted her,” he said of his “date,” admitted swindler Karina Pascucci, who also speaks to 20/20.
“I mean, who hasn’t done a stupid thing or two for a beautiful girl in life?”
Younan was one of four wealthy men taken to Scores — and the cleaners — in the scam.
Lopez portrays stripper ringleader “Ramona” in the upcoming movie — based on Samantha Barbash, who in April 2017, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, assault and grand larceny in exchange for five years’ probation.
The ring would be broken up with Younan’s help and after an intricate undercover sting operation run by the NYPD and the DEA.
A lab determined the women were using a mixture of MDMA, or “Molly,” and ketamine, or “Special K,” to drug their marks.
“I felt like they were like vampires hovering over me,” an undercover agent who worked the case told 20/20 of the real-life “Hustlers.”
“My blood was the credit card. They needed to get me to this strip bar with my credit card to do their business.”
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