Michigan native Sophia Eggleston says that “Empire” character Cookie Lyon is based on her life story and has filed a $300 million lawsuit against the show and creator Lee Daniels for copyright infringement.
The 53-year-old told The Chicago Tribune that she shared her memoir “The Hidden Hand” with writer Rita Grant Miller who allegedly said she’d pitch Eggleston’s story to “Empire” co-creator Daniels. Eggleston never heard back from Miller and when she happened to catch an episode of the hit FOX show, she noticed similarities between Cookie and her own story.
“The whole city knows me. The whole city was calling me,” Eggleston, who lives in the Detroit area, tells the Tribune of friends who also noticed the similarities. “This (expletive) just stole my life story. No she didn’t.”
The 53-year-old woman filed the lawsuit against Daniels, Miller and FOX in May, which included a list of the characteristics she and Cookie share: both are drug kingpins who, after serving time in jail, placed “a hit” on someone post-release, they both have wardrobes full of mink coats and a gay relative.
The Tribune also lists Eggleston’s criminal record, which includes a second-degree murder conviction, probation violation, Medicare fraud, fleeing police and drug possession. Eggleston told the paper that her legal team picked the $300 million amount.
FOX had no comment for Zap2it at this time.