Mo'Nique's public feud with Lee Daniels and Danny Strong has carried on for more than a month. Cookie says she was offered the role of Cookie in Empire by Daniels before seeing it go to Taraji P. Henson. She also says Daniels wanted her to star in The Butler and his upcoming Richard Pryor biopic before he told her she's been blackballed by Hollywood. Strong has denied Mo'Nique was offered the Empire and The Butler roles on several occasions, but now the actress is sharing emails to prove the contrary.
Mo'Nique appeared on Sway in the Morning earlier this week to clear the air on the Cookie controversy. She says she brought the emails for Sway to read out of principle and not because of any animosity toward Daniels and Strong.
Here are two emails from Feb. 18, 2014:
Lee Daniels had a conversation with Mo’Nique about his new television pilot for Imagine Tv/Fox called “Empire.” We would like to screen test her for the role of ‘Cookie.’ Please contact us with her television quotes, so that we can start a test, option, deal. We are tentatively looking at Monday, Feb 24 for the screen test.
Hello I am following up on my previous e-mail regarding Lee Daniels’ pilot and Mo’Nique’s television quotes. This is a time sensitive matter. Lee really does not want Mo’Nique to miss this opportunity.
And another from March 3, 2014, after a deal fell through:
Unfortunately it’s not going any further for Mo’Nique. Lee fought for her because he thought she would be great for the pilot but studio and network executives insisted on offering the role to Taraji. Thank you so much for providing us with her information. Sorry it didn’t work out. We’re all big fans of hers.
Mo'Nique insists she isn't upset about losing the role to Henson. She just wants the truth about her offer out there. "Don't put it out there as if it never happened," she said. "That's the only point I was making."
Watch the entire interview above.