Sofia Vergara Sued as Griselda Blanco's Family Seeks to Halt Release of New Netflix Show

The actress' 'Griselda' miniseries is set to debut Jan. 25 on Netflix.

Sofia Vergara is being taken to court by the family of infamous Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco over her upcoming miniseries, Griselda, in which the Modern Family alum stars as the "Cocaine Godmother" -- the notorious real-life Colombian kingpin, who created one of history's most profitable cartels while running cocaine through Miami, Florida. 

Blanco's adult children, acting as representatives of her estate, have filed a lawsuit against Vergara and Netflix, aiming to block the release of the series, claiming the unauthorized use of their family's image and likeness.

According to the lawsuit obtained by ET, Griselda's son, Michael, alleges that he had been providing interviews since 2009 to individuals interested in developing his life story and that of his mother into a production, potentially a show and a book. 

Michael claims these interviews were conducted up until 2022 and that the individuals involved promised to shop the project around Hollywood starting in 2016.

Pablo Cuadra/FilmMagic

Michael further alleges that Netflix expressed interest in the project but did not want to utilize any details or consultations from his interviews. However, he claims that the upcoming miniseries heavily relies on his anecdotes and materials without proper compensation.

The lawsuit contends that Netflix essentially appropriated the family's story and incorporated it into the show, violating the Blanco children's rights by using their images and likenesses without permission. 

While the lawsuit does not explicitly prohibit the depiction of their mother, a public figure, the children assert that their likenesses and interview materials were utilized in the production.

The show, scheduled for release on Jan. 25, has Vergara as an executive producer, potentially explaining her inclusion in the lawsuit. The Blanco children are urgently seeking a court injunction to prevent the show's release.

A rep for Netflix had no comment for ET regarding the lawsuit. ET also reached out to Vergara's team. TMZ was first to report on this story.

In a statement provided to ET, the Blanco family said:

"It is beyond dispute that Griselda Blanco made the ultimate decision for Michael Blanco, her son, to carry out and benefit from her life as it relates to artistic and literary productions based on her story. Although Michael Blanco is a public figure himself with his own rights to publicity, Mr. Blanco continues to honor his mother’s executed intent. Since 2008, Michael Blanco has worked extremely hard in the entertainment industry where he conducted numerous interviews and tv shows to tell his story. He is also the outstanding author of the book entitled, “My Mother, the Godmother and the True Story of Michael Corleone Blanco the Son of Griselda Blanco.” He published this book in an attempt to fulfill his mother’s wishes and tell the world the intimate details about his life and that of his mother, Griselda Blanco. It is a compelling story.

Michael Blanco was more than willing to share his hard work and the nonpublic details of his mother’s life with Latin World Entertainment/Netflix if he was to be fairly compensated. Make no mistake, Michael Blanco is humble and thrilled each and every time someone reaches out to shine light on his mother and the Blanco family. However, in the case of Netflix/Latin World Entertainment, the Defendants approached Michael Blanco to gain his work, perspective, and insight to only turn around and act like he does not exist, in an apparent attempt to reap their own profits. It is disappointing that Latin World Entertainment/Netflix would pretend that it is acceptable to use Michael Blanco’s commercial work without his permission.

Common courtesy, consent, and compensation would have amicably resolved the issues with the Defendants and prevented this lawsuit. This lawsuit boils down to the principle of decent respect for an individual and for the applicable laws coupled with the illegal use and/or exploitation of Blanco’s persona, his literary ideas, and his duty concerning his mother’s wishes.

How does one begin to portray or produce a story about the “Godmother” without reflecting her true intentions? Because her intentions were always to remain close and protect her children. Netflix did the opposite.

We look forward to having the Court promptly address our client’s concerns. We should have more information next week as the case proceeds."

Ahead of her highly anticipated debut as the Colombian drug lord, the 51-year-old actress sat down with ET to discuss her wild transformation into the infamous "Cocaine Godmother."

Vergara describes Griselda as "a complex person." "There are so many nuances to explore in terms of who she was as a drug lord and, of course, as a woman, as a mother," she explained. "She was someone who did whatever it took to protect her family."

She added, "I really wanted to explore that from the point of view of, you know, of her being one of the only women in history to have gone as far as she did."



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