A Detroit woman has filed a $300 million lawsuit against the show’s creators, claiming they’ve modeled favorite character Cookie Lyon after her.
Sophia Eggleston claims that Empire ripped off her entire life and inserted similar traits into Taraji P. Henson’s beloved Cookie Lyon. Eggleston, 53, says that her memoir, which details her life as a drug kingpin, revealed the circumstances related to her time in prison. Eggleston adds that her details from her memoir can be tied identically to the character as well, reports Page Six.
Eggleston, 53, who says in the suit she was a “drug kingpin” who did jail time for manslaughter for placing a “hit” on a man, claims she wrote her life story into a memoir about her “early drug lifestyle” titled “The Hidden Hand.” In 2011, she traveled to LA to meet with screenwriter Rita Miller and gave Miller a copy of her book. Her copyright suit, filed in US District Court in Michigan, says she got a call from Miller several months later saying she was going to pitch her story to Daniels.
But when the show aired in 2015, Eggleston says, the Cookie character “was similar in behavior, style of dress, and background” to her. The suit says she was “dismayed to see the various similarities of events and characters . . . so numerous and specific, especially . . . Cookie Lyon, that independent creation was obviously impossible.”
There hasn’t been a response as of yet from show co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. Strong claims he got the idea for the show after hearing a story about Sean “Diddy” Combs.