A Detroit woman who claims to be the real-life Cookie Lyon (played by Taraji P. Henson) is looking to cash in on the fictional character that helped make Fox's "Empire" an instant success.
Sophia Eggleston has filed a $300 million lawsuit against the network, as well as co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, accusing them of stealing her life story for the hit musical drama.
From 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 character Cookie '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.'"
The suit goes on to point out several similarities: Eggleston and Cookie were both drug kingpins who went to jail. They're both known for placing a hit on someone. They both share a love for mink coats and they both had a gay family member.
Eggleston added, "The whole city's been telling me Cookie is basically me. Any jury would rule for me-- $300 million is a very small price for taking my whole life and stealing it."
Reps for Fox, Daniels and Strong declined to comment.
(Photos from left: sophiaeggleston via Instagram,Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Chuck Hodes/FOX)