“Cookie Lyon” is Taking Lee Daniels to Court Over Empire
A lawsuit filed by a woman claiming to be the real Cookie Lyon looks to be going to trial, as a US District Court judge has struck down “Empire” creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong’s motion to have the case dismissed.
Author Sophia Eggleston, 53, filed the copyright claim with the U.S. District Court in Michigan earlier this year, but the suit was challenged by Daniels and Strong, who questioned whether they’d fall under the jurisdiction of a Michigan trial, as residents of New York and Los Angeles respectively. Daniels recently went as far as mocking Eggleston’s efforts, claiming never to have heard of the proclaimed former drug lord, before dismissing her allegations by offering “Bye Felicia,” when asked about it during the series’ Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour
Eggleston, who served time in prison for allegedly putting a hit out on an adversary, then returned home to scribe a memoir titled “The Hidden Hand,” accuses the show’s producers of using her life story as an inspiration for the Taraji P. Henson character. According to Eggleston, she traveled to L.A. to pitch the story to screenwriter Rita Miller in 2011 and began to get an inclination that there might have been a Miller/ Daniels/Strong connection upon witnessing similarities to her rich past in the Hip Hop underworld of the 1990’s. Miller is listed as the defendants in the case.
“The whole city’s been telling me Cookie is basically me. Any jury would rule for me,” says a confident Eggleston. No date has yet been set for the start of depositions.