The Real Cookie Lyon? Detroit Woman Suing ‘Empire’ Creators for $300 Million

The character made popular by Taraji P. Henson may have come from a book

(Image: philly.com)

(Image: philly.com)

The Grio reports that a Detroit woman is suing Empire creators, claiming she’s the real ‘Cookie Lyon.’ Sophia Eggleston hopes to cash in on the popularity of the feisty lead character on the popular Fox show played by Taraji P. Hensen.

Eggleston is author of The Hidden Hand, a memoir which she claims Empire creators took elements from to create Cookie Lyon, the ex-con, ex-wife of the show’s lead antagonist, Lucious Lyon, played by Terrence Howard. According to the suit, Eggleston met with screenwriter Rita Miller in 2011 and gave her a copy of the book, and Miller agreed to pitch it to Lee Daniels.

Empire was released with huge success in 2015 and Eggleston claims the similarities between she and Cookie Lyon are very close.

The Grio reports Eggleston says the character “was similar in behavior, style of dress, and background,” and 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,” her lawyer says. “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.”

Ratings for the show’s first season finale broke records for the network, and fans await with excitement for season two, which is set to begin Sept. 23. There have always been speculations by fans as to who Lucious Lyons is modeled after, with names like Jay Z and Diddy being thrown in the debates, but this is the first known lawsuit to tackle creative license over Cookie.