Sofia Vergara and Netflix being sued by family of infamous drug lord Griselda Blanco

Vergara, Netflix, and others involved in the streaming service's limited series "Griselda" are being sued by the estate of Blanco, which is represented by her son and his wife

NBC Universal, Inc.

Sofia Vergara's portrayal of Griselda Blanco has the actress facing a lawsuit in Miami filed by the family of the infamous Colombian drug lord.

Vergara, Netflix, and others involved in the streaming service's limited series "Griselda" are being sued by the estate of Blanco, which is represented by her son and his wife.

Here's everything you need to know:

What is the lawsuit about?

The suit was filed last week in federal court in Miami-Dade by Blanco’s son, Michael Sepulveda Blanco, and his wife, Marie.

It seeks an emergency temporary injunction to stop the release of "Griselda," which is set to stream on Netflix on Thursday, as well as damages exceeding $50,000.

A hearing over the suit was being held in Miami-Dade on Wednesday.

The suit claims the series and its promotional materials use the unauthorized "image, likeness and/or identity" of family members, and says "unreleased and private artistic literary work is used to depict the life story of" Michael Sepulveda Blanco and his mother, and that he wasn't compensated.

It goes on to say that Michael Sepulveda Blanco "has devoted several years to meticulously documenting the private narratives of his, as well as his mother’s life, with the intention of publishing a book and developing a Spanish soap opera."

The Blanco family said in a statement that the son, also known as Michael Blanco has, "conducted numerous interviews and TV shows to tell his 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," the statement read, in part.

"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."

Netflix didn't respond to a request for comment about the suit.

What is "Griselda" about?

The six-episode series, directed by Andrés Baiz, is inspired by the savvy and ambitious Colombian businesswoman Griselda Blanco, who created one of the most profitable cartels in history.

"A devoted mother, Blanco's lethal blend of charm and unsuspected savagery helped her expertly navigate between family and business leading her to become widely known as the 'Godmother,'" according to the series description.

"Griselda Blanco was a larger-than-life character," Vergara, who also serves as executive producer, previously said in a statement, "whose ruthless but ingenious tactics allowed her to rule a billion-dollar empire years before many of the most notorious male kingpins we know so much about."

Sofía Vergara as "Griselda."
Elizabeth Morris/Netlfix
Sofía Vergara as "Griselda."

The 51-year-old Vergara, who was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, opened up about her interest in Blanco's life story when she appeared Jan. 17 on "The Tonight Show."

“I grew up during that time. I know that business,” Vergara told host Jimmy Fallon. “My brother was part of that business. He was killed in the ‘90s. I was very, like, I know this character. I think I can do it."

"One of the reasons why she was able to get away with so much was actually because she was a woman, and they were never thinking that a woman was capable of doing all the horrific things that she did," she added.

The former "Modern Family" star also noted that Blanco raised four children while she was the head of one of the world's most notorious drug cartels.

Who was Griselda Blanco?

Blanco was a central figure in Miami’s 1980s "Cocaine Cowboys" era. The so-called "Godmother" ran a major drug trafficking operation that was responsible for the assassination of over 40 people, men, women, and children, authorities said.

She was always believed to have been involved behind the scenes in the infamous July 1979 "Dadeland Mall Massacre," a daytime shootout that was one of the boldest acts of violence during the fight to supply South Florida with cocaine and that left two people dead, and two others wounded.

griselda blanco
Miami-Dade Corrections
Griselda Blanco

Blanco was never prosecuted in the shooting but did prison time in the U.S. on drug charges before she was deported back to Colombia. She was shot to death in Medellín by a motorcycle-riding assassin in September 2012.

“There were two sides to her. If she owed you money and she did not want to pay you she’d have you killed," said former Miami Police Det. Nelson Andreu. “If you owed her money and you could not or would not pay her she’d have you killed too."

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