Netflix and Telemundo, a Spanish television company, have been accused of refusing to pay a former Mexican drug dealer for making a series based on her life.
Mexican ex-trafficker Sandra Ávila Beltrán, known as La Reina del Pacífico, is suing the two companies and hopes to claim a share of the profits from the series La Reina del Sur, which is based on her criminal career.
She seeks to obtain 40% of all the income from the two companies for the series that has been broadcast since 2011, Ávila’s lawyer, Israel Razo, told the Mexican media outlet Milenio.
Netflix and Telemundo responded to the accusations through the Industrial Property Institute (IMPI) of Mexico, saying: “There is a public interest in talking about a person accused of a crime that has brought innumerable violence and victims to this country.”
Beltrán would have said in a letter to IMPI: ‘Both companies acted improperly with the intention of damaging my image and profiting from it.
“When they used my image and my name to refer to La Reina Del Sur, they sought to increase the curiosity of the public and obtain an economic benefit from it.”
The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation will decide whether or not Beltrán will receive money from the companies.
If he wins his case, it will be the first time a drug trafficker has benefited from having his image used on screen.
The show, starring prominent Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo, is based on a novel by Arturo Pérez Reverte about Beltrán with some fictional passages.
Metro.co.uk has contacted Netflix and Telemundo for comment.
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