Lee Daniels recently scored a win in a lawsuit which claimed Empire hijacked someone else's idea, but another similar suit has reared its ugly head. This time, a self-proclaimed former gangster named Sophia Eggleston claims the character of Cookie Lyon was "cribbed in total" from her autobiography The Hidden Hand.
Eggleston, who filed suit against Daniels, Empire co-creator Danny Strong and FOX last year with hand-written papers, is back this time with a lawyer and a much bigger ask. According to her attorney, Tom Heed, the one-time Detroit drug kingpin now wants the parties to pay her “tens of millions of dollars.”
According to the filing, Eggleston did jail time for ordering a “hit” on a man and “running a drug ring” and even has a gay son much like Cookie's character has a gay son (Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon). The two women also share a love of flashy clothes and feather boas, according to the lawsuit.
“I certainly feel like she has a very good argument,” Heed told Page Six. “What she believes is that the character of herself, especially before she went to prison, as it was expressed in the book The Hidden Hand, was pretty much cribbed in total and that is now the character Cookie Lyon.”
Eggleston, who published her autobiography in 2009, said she met with a screenwriter in Los Angeles in 2011 about the project and was told by the writer that it would be pitched to Lee Daniels. Cut to 2014, and Empire becomes the biggest hit on television without any involvement from Eggleston.
Watch Empire favorite Taraji P. Henson make Golden Globe history in the BET Breaks video below:
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(Photo: James Dimmock/FOX)