A Detroit woman is suing Empire and claiming that she is the actual, real-life Cookie Lyon.
Sophia Eggleston has filed a $300 million lawsuit against the hit show and says that much of her life mirrors the character Cookie. She wrote her “early drug lifestyle” in a memoir titled The Hidden Hand, which she claims Empire borrowed liberally from to make the iconic character.
According to the copyright suit, filed in the US District Court in Michigan, Eggleston met with screenwriter Rita Miller in 2011 and gave her a copy of the memoir, which Miller said she would pitch to Lee Daniels during a phone conversation several months later.
Instead, in 2015, Empire came out, and Eggleston said the similarities were uncanny.
Eggleston said that Cookie “was similar in behavior, style of dress, and background.” She went on further to say that she was “dismayed to see the various similarities of events and characters . . . so numerous and specific, especially . . . Cookie Lyon, that independent creation was obviously impossible.”
“Cookie was a drug kingpin that went to jail. So did plaintiff Eggleston. Cookie is released from jail confinement and immediately places a hit on a certain individual. Plaintiff . . . actually was jailed for doing the actual hit on a man.”