Woman Claiming To Be The Real Cookie Lyon Sues “Empire” Creator
Fox and “Empire” creator Lee Daniels have been slapped with a $300 million lawsuit by a woman claiming to be the real Cookie Lyon.
According to Page Six, Sophia Eggleston, 53, filed a copyright infringement suit with the U.S. District Court in Michigan claiming that the hit television show was inspired by her life and experiences as a “drug kingpin,” which she documented in her memoir, The Hidden Hand. Eggleston claims that she traveled to Los Angeles to meet with screenwriter Rita Miller, who allegedly told her that she would pitch the story to Daniels.
When the show aired in 2015, Eggleston, who served time in prison for manslaughter after placing a “hit” on a man, claimed that she was “dismayed” to see that character Cookie Lyon “was similar in behavior, style of dress, and background.” She adds that the similarities were “so numerous and specific, especially . . . Cookie Lyon, that independent creation was obviously impossible.” The lawsuit explains:
“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.”
“There is no possibility the similarities are . . . mere coincidence. Defendants had access to and a copy of” her book.
Daniels and his creative partner Danny Strong declined to comment on the suit. Eggleston, however, says people have been comparing her to the slick-talking record executive since the series aired.
“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,” she said.
We’d love to be a fly on the wall in Lee’s house right now.