The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges Lopez illegally depicted the life of Maureen Marder. She had refused to grant sequel rights or to permit any further use of her story or identity after the film became a success, according to her attorney Robert Hefling.
"She is penniless, disabled with a spinal injury, and trying to raise a teenage daughter," Helfing said in a news release. "Now her life story is on the screen again and other people are profiting from it with no acknowledgment of her rights, let alone fair compensation for her contribution."
The lawsuit claims that Lopez and her label Sony didn't have permission to make the 2003 video, which re-created distinctive scenes from the movie.
Marder is also seeking profits from Paramount and wants to be declared co-author and co-owner of the movie and screenplay copyrights.
Hefling said "Flashdance" owes its story to Marder, but she received only about $2,300 for the film while the movie helped launch the careers of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Adrian Lyne and writer Joe Eszterhas.