By: William Lawson
2015 has been the year of Empire. It has also been the year of lawsuits against Empire. The show and its creators were sued for the name “Empire”, for the concept, and now the show can add being sued for supposedly stealing the backstory for, arguably, the show’s breakout character Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson). Taraji was just nominated for an Emmy in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category.
The first episode of Empire was watched by 9.90 million viewers and viewership continued to rise making the show Fox’s most watched show since Touch in 2012, with a total of 17.62 million viewers that tuned in to the season one finale. Obviously this character and show are both a big deal.
According to Sophia Eggleston, Lee Daniels stole her life story and created an Emmy nominated character. Eggleston is from the Detroit, MI area. She claims that she wrote a book detailing her crazy life, while serving time in prison for manslaughter. She is suing the show’s creators for $300 million. Eggleston claims that she met with a screenwriter, who then took the story to show producers, and left her behind. According to Eggleston, the similarities between her and the character are no coincidence due to them having the same lifestyle, similar criminal history, personality and a love for mink (comparing the picture of Cookie above and Sophia below). Eggleston claims, “The whole city was calling me saying, ‘Sophia that [expletive] playing your part, but you did live it.” When asked about her lawsuit, she said, “Oh I know I’m gonna win. What jury in the world wouldn’t let me win.” She claims the show tried to settle with her a few years ago, but she refused.