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Sofia Vergara Sued by Griselda Blanco's Estate Over Netflix Show




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



Vergara, 51, who was slammed by the son of 'Cocaine Godmother' Blanco, stars in the series which tells the story of how Blanco's legendary reign paved the way for the most infamous Colombian cartel.


A lawsuit obtained by TMZ and launched by Blanco's adult kids acting as representatives for her estate, names Vergara as a defendant and Netflix - with the estate suing both parties over what they claim is the unauthorized use of their family's image and likeness in this upcoming series.


The series is set for release on January 25 - but the family are trying to block its release and have asked a judge for an injunction. 


Giselda's son Michael Corleone Blanco claims he has been doing interviews for years to try and get his and his mother's life story on paper in the hopes of developing into a production.


He alleges these interviews date back to 2009 and continued until 2022.


He claim the unnamed parties wanted to develop the story into a book - and says they told him they'd start shopping it around Hollywood in 2016.





He alleges they pitched it to a producer ahead of a meeting with Netflix about it and claims he was then told Netflix was interested - but did not want to use any of the information from the interviews he had done.


Michael says he has now learned the new Griselda show does include a lot of his anecdotes and material - and says he was not paid.


He and his siblings allege Netflix ripped off their family story and weaved it into the plot of their show - with the children claiming use of their own images and likenesses in the show without their permission violate their rights.


DailyMail.com has contacted representatives for Vergara and Netflix for comment.


This comes after Michael spoke exclusively to DailyMail.com about his anger and disappointment over the fact Sofia and her team refused his offer to consult on the project.


He labeled the rejection a 'slap in the face' - and said they 'wouldn't have got away with it' if his mother was still alive.


Griselda's only surviving son also criticized the 'disrespectful' decision to transform Sofia's superstar looks with facial prosthetics for her portrayal of his famous mother - the first female criminal billionaire who held a reign of terror during Miami's Cocaine Cowboys drug wars of the 1970s and '80s.


Sofia, 51, previously revealed it took two hours in the makeup chair to transform into Griselda, and Michael made it clear he was furious with the interpretation.


'My mother was a beautiful woman and it's crazy that a lot of people say "No, you've got to look more like a drug addict"... The fact that they call her "ugly" that really offends me,' he said.


He expressed his frustration that people always based their idea of his mother's look from her mugshots, highlighting that using pictures taken after she spent decades in prison was not a fair representation of her.





'People see the mug shots and just go from that,' he continued. 'But when you read my book, you'll see that my mother was called the porcelain doll in her youth.'


'Mayors, governors and politicians in different countries would try to court my mother...even here in the United States. She was the crème de la crème.'


Michael recalled the fact his mother was a 'celebrity' of sorts during her time within the Medellín Cartel, and highlighted that she had a glamorous and pampered appearance.


'She was always a beautiful woman,' he insisted. 'Now, of course, 26 years of jail will age a person. And my mother was so used to pampering and she was so used to her maintenance.'


The Cartel Crew star then revealed that his mother had even paid for herself and her family members to get dental work that was nicknamed the Burt Reynolds grill at the time, costing around $150,000 per person back in 1976.


'My mother was the first Colombian person in history to have the Hollywood grill back then,' he gushed. 'I've got it now but now it's a lot cheaper, ha. She wasn't a saint but I'll tell you something... my mother was a star and a queen.'


Sofia's new series was eight years in the making and Michael revealed he had been aware of her interest in telling his mother's story - with the Blanco Family Fincas businessman even reaching out to offer his services as a consultant.


His lawyer, Elysa Galloway, confirmed to DailyMail.com: 'Sofia Vergara did not consult with any members of the Blanco family as a sign of respect or elicit family details in portraying Griselda. When Michael learned of the Griselda project, we reached out to Sofia's camp and offered Michael's consultation services. 


'They extended an invitation for us to sit with them to tell us there was no room on the project.


Sofia’s camp and the Netflix creators were disrespectful and ultimately produced the Griselda project on their own for commercial gain, without key details from the Blanco family.'


Michael stressed: 'All I have to say is that if my mother was alive, she wouldn't have got away with it.' 





He explained that what rubbed salt into the wound further was that this 'offensive' treatment was coming from fellow Colombian, Sofia.


'It's such a slap in the face knowing that we come from the same land, that we come from the same culture,' he said.


'No matter what, you need to respect my mother enough to seek the consultation of our youngest son - her best friend that visited her five times a week during her 23 years incarceration.'


The furious weed salesman added: 'Not only is it a slap in my face, it is a slap in the face of my ancestors, that she would do such a thing. No matter where you are now, or how elite, it's in the Colombian way.'


Griselda famously went from growing up in a slum in the cocaine cartel city of Medellin, Colombia, to ruling a $2billion empire stretching from the South American country to Miami, New York and California. 


She grabbed power by being more inventive and even more ruthless than the drug lords emerging in the 1970s.


The queenpin kept order with a gold-plated submachine gun studded with emeralds, while netting $80million a month.


At one point, it is reported she and kingpin Pablo Escobar were ordering constant hits on each other. She is accused of being linked to 200 murders. 


Michael admitted he can understand why people are keen to adapt his mother's story for the big screen, but said he felt it was 'offensive' that he had not been extended the same respect as he claimed Irish American or Italian American crime families had received for similar productions.


'They really dropped the ball on that one. It's a blind slap in the face,' he vented. 'You expect it from different cultures - but never would I think that a Colombian mother would do this - a queen, in her own right because Sofia's a queen and I’m not blasting all the work that she's done. My mother did not raise a hater.'


In his new book, My Mother, The Godmother, and the True Story of Michael Corleone Blanco, the Son of Griselda Blanco, he is set to share astonishing insights about the woman whose pioneering routes helped swamp the US with cocaine. 


He revealed that he began taking notes to tell his family's story back in 2006, getting information directly from his mother before she was ultimately assassinated in 2012 at the age of 69. 


'During her incarceration, I would always ask her about stuff and take notes', he explained. 'Just as a child and wanting to know what was his real upbringing. lt was also born from my hunger to know more about my family's history in Colombia, how we migrated and all that.'





He decided to share all this information in a book as a way to reclaim the narrative surrounding his family. 


'Somebody from the family has to tell the story correctly,' he continued. 'I just feel that my family's life story should be humanized, not villainized. 


'I feel that it's my duty to do it. And if I didn't, I wouldn't be keeping my word to my OG, to my mother. I'm just holding it down for the family - and I'm doing it legally.'


Michael insisted that it was time to have a family member finally reveal the true story in order to dispel some of the long-held myths surrounding his mom.


He mused: 'Urban myth, public record, street legend, legacy... it all gets twisted because of word of mouth. Hollywood and the masses feel they have to glorify or somehow explore the legend of Griselda Blanco to fit a certain narrative.


'I'm not going to sugarcoat it. My mother was not a saint, she did a lot of bad stuff - but she was a mother, the head of a household. I just wanted the masses to understand that, you know.'


He continued: 'Not only am I here to humanize my mother and my family, but there's so many gaps, there's so many holes in the decades, and in the story of it, that will only be correct when the storytelling comes from one of the Blancos.'


Indeed, Sofia isn't the only star that has taken an interest in bringing Griselda's story to life.


The Cartel icon was previously played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the 2018 Lifetime biopic Cocaine Godmother, which focused on her relationship with her female lover Carolina.


Meanwhile, Jennifer Lopez will be the next big name to play Griselda in a film titled The Godmother.


The project has The Handmaid's Tale director Reed Morano signed up, but it is still unclear when production will start.





Back in 2021, Michael called out Lopez for failing to reach out and invite him to consult on his mother's life story.


While most fans only learned about the project in 2020, Michael revealed he has known about some of the projects for as long as the past decade.


He explained: 'Through a third party and I found out that J-Lo, Sofia, Catherine Zeta Jones and Salma Hayek, I believe, were all looking into projects. 


'My lawyer at the time was one of the best life rights attorneys in the game. I've known for a long time, even my mother knew.'


Despite his anger about being iced out, Michael shared his pride at the fact such big Hollywood names are interested in his mother.


He stated: 'I feel extreme amount of happiness about the women attached to these projects. My offence is from the disrespect towards the legacy of the family.


'Because when you admire somebody so much, therefore you will show respect to the family. She was a pioneer, she changed the game completely.'


However, Michael admitted there have been some potentially fatal downsides to having his mom's legacy featured on big-budget projects - suggesting that one production could have resulted in his mother's death.


He recalled how a show about the life of Pablo Escobar, which aired after his mother had been released from prison, reminded people of the fact she was Pablo's 'mentor.'


'There were a couple of episodes that showed she pioneered everything', he explained. 'Because of that soap opera, I believe that the attention and the negativity that it brought to my mother's name and legacy may have also led to her assassination. Before that she was just under the radar.'


While Michael intends to watch the new Netflix limited series in order to keep an eye on any incorrect myths that are shown to the masses, he was quick to point out one main narrative that he insists is not true.


His mother was jailed for allegedly arranging three contract killings that took the life of toddler Johnny Castro. Police claimed the child died when bullets meant for his father, Jesus Castro, hit the boy instead.


Michael made it clear that he did not believe his mother would ever call for the death of a child, as has been suggested in retellings of her story. 


'Over and over, they make my mother out to be a child killer,' he began. 'She had four little boys, she was a godmother to 200 kids. It's just a myth.'


He then pointed out another common error as he continued: 'The other myth was that she was a 24-hour junkie. Now, if she ran a corporation - and she ran a business like she was someone on the Forbes list - then she couldn't be acting like that. She was far from that.'


From the day he was born in a Medellin hospital, even Michael's middle name would inextricably link him with crime.


Griselda decided it should be Corleone because she was obsessed with the Godfather movies and the central mafia family.


His dad was her third husband, cocaine trafficker Dario Sepulveda. It has long been rumored that Dario was killed due to a hit put on him by Griselda.




Michael previously told DailyMail.com that he survived seven assassination attempts while growing up in Colombia and becoming part of the family business from nine years old.


By his teens he was effectively in control, helping his mother from her California jail cell after her 1985 arrest.


He eventually turned his back on crime and risked his life to get out of the cartel.


He now lives as a 'suburban' dad with wife Marie Ramirez De Arellano and three children, while running his successful weed business.


Reflecting on why he feels it is so important to tell his family's story, Michael explained: 'I am a history buff so I believe that history should be told not only by the victors, but by the losers. You can call me what you want but I'm in both worlds.


'Some people will say, "You're glorifying the lifestyle". I glorify my mother but when you read my book and you'll see my public apology to the masses, and to the victims of the 1970s and 1980s cocaine and crack wars.'


He finished: 'I'm apologetic because I myself am a victim... I buried 22 members of my family. I survived countless assassination's attempts. Look at the way I lost my mother.'


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