“Empire” Screenwriter Rita Grant Miller has been in a lengthy battle to prove that she didn’t steal the show idea from real life (former) drug kingpin, or queenpin in this case, Sophia Eggleston. Sophia served Miller, Lee Daniels and Danny Strong (co-producers of the show), and Fox seeking out $300 million for being the real life Cookie Lyon in 2015.
Eggleston’s claim accused Miller for taking the book titled “The Hidden Land”, which was a memoir of her early life, and turning it into the basis for “Empire” after meeting with her and telling her that she was going to pitch the show to Daniels. Ironically, Sophia actually served time for putting a hit out on the man that wrote the memoir!
These are the similarities between Eggleston and “Empire” according to court documents obtained by Daily Mail:
– Cookie was a drug kingpin that went to jail like Eggleston
– Cookie was released from jail and placed a hit out on someone like Eggleston did
– Cookie has a flashy wardrobe that includes the love of fur, so does Eggleston
– Cookie has a gay son and Eggleston has a gay son
Well these claims weren’t enough for the presiding judge because he ruled in favor of Miller, Daniels, Strong, and Fox. The real kicker is that Rita Miller claims she has NEVER met Lee Daniels and she only met with Sophia twice, but never told her about pitching her story. Lee Daniels has stuck to the story that he actually got the idea for “Empire” after hearing a story about Diddy and wanting to create a “hip-hop King Lear.”
Rita released a statement about the lawsuit “nightmare” saying:
“I guess life really is like a dog: if it smells filet mignon on your plate it will bite you for it. I’m just relieved it’s over, but sadly there really isn’t any charming retreat from this sort of exploitation for anyone involved.”
What do you think about this battle?
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