A woman is suing Lee Daniels for $300 million claiming the Empire co-creator copied her real life story when writing Taraji P. Henson’s character Cookie Lyon, Page Six reported Monday.
Sophia Eggleston, 53, of Detroit, Mich., claims she was a “drug kingpin” who went to jail after she called out a “hit” on a man. She was convicted of manslaughter. She documented the events in her book The Hidden Hand.
She went to Los Angeles and pitched her story to screenwriter Rita Miller. She believes it was Miller who gave the idea to Daniels, since Miller vowed that she would be handing him the book.
Eggleston said Cookie is “similar in behavior, style of dress and background…” She adds that 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.”
She continues with, “Cookie was a drug kingpin that went to jail. So did plaintiff Eggleston. Cookie is released from jail confinement and immediately places a hit on a certain individual. Plaintiff…actually was jailed for doing the actual hit on a man.”
“Empire” co-creator Danny Strong has said “Empire” is actually based on Jay Z’s character.
The second season premieres Sept. 23 on Fox.