A Detroit woman named Sophia Eggleston claims she’s the real-life version of Empire’s Cookie Lyon, and has filed a $300 million lawsuit against show co-creator Lee Daniels, and Fox, according to reports. Eggleston claims that she was a drug queen pen who did jail time for manslaughter, for putting a hit out on someone, and that the show stole her life story, which she penned in a memoir called The Hidden Hand.
In 2011, she traveled to LA to meet with screenwriter Rita Miller and gave Miller a copy of her book. Her copyright suit, filed in US District Court in Michigan, says she got a call from Miller several months later saying she was going to pitch her story to Daniels. But when the show aired in 2015, Eggleston says, the Cookie character “was similar in behavior, style of dress, and background” to her. The suit says 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.”
The suit alleges specific similarities to Eggleston’s life: “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.”
Eggleston also cited that she and Cookie like to wear mink coats, both had a gay family member and she simply does not believe that this is all coincidence.
“The whole city’s been telling me Cookie is basically me. Any jury would rule for me — $300 million is a very small price for taking my whole life and stealing it,” she added.