It seems like everybody wants a piece of the Fox hit-TV series Empire’s cookie–figuratively and financially speaking.
Sophia Eggleston, a 53 year-old resident of Detroit, filed a $300 million dollar lawsuit against Fox and Empire’s co-creator Lee Daniels for stealing her life story to create the show, according to Page Six. In a nutshell, Eggleston claims she is the real “Cookie Lyon,” who is played by Taraji P. Henson on the show.
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In 2010, Eggleston reportedly published a memoir titled The Hidden Hand, which details her life as a former drug kingpin. In the lawsuit, she goes on to list several other similarities that her and Cookie share: both having an affinity for fur coats, both incarcerated for working as big time drug dealers and having gay relatives. Eggleston has a gay brother and Cookie has a gay son by the name of Jamal Lyon, played by Jussie Smollett.
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But how does this all connect to Empire? Well, allegedly in 2011, Eggleston met with screenwriter Rita Miller in New Jersey to discuss shopping the book for the show with Daniels. But apparently during the meeting Miller got ill and returned back to Los Angeles, leaving the book with Daniels, according to The Daily Beast.
Yet despite Eggleston’s claims, show co-creator Danny Strong says he got the inspiration for the show during a car ride in LA while listening to Sean Combs on the radio.
“I was driving in a car in Los Angeles … and there was a story on the radio about Puffy and some deal that he closed,” he said at the ATX Festival earlier this summer. “I don’t remember what the news story was, but hearing the news story, I thought, ‘Hip-hop is so cool! I wanna do something with hip-hop!’ That was literally my mind set.”
Will the real Cookie please stand up?