Will the Real Cookie From 'Empire' Please Stand Up? Detroit Woman Sues Show Creators

53-year-old Sophia Eggleston claims she is the real Cookie Lyon.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Since debuting at the top of the year, Fox's new show Empire became the show to watch, even gracing the No. 1 spot on our Best TV Shows of 2015 list. The soap opera-esque drama made for pure entertainment while its characters became instant icons—most notably the queenly Cookie Lyon (played by Taraji P. Henson), who, after serving 17 years in prison, was out to claim half of the lucrative hip-hop label started by her former drug-dealing ex-husband Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard).

Now, a 53-year-old woman by the name of Sophia Eggleston is suing Fox and the show's co-creator Lee Daniels in a $300 million lawsuit, claiming the series stole her life story. The suit makes ties between fictional Cookie's life and this supposedly real-life Cookie's: "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 says that there's no way this is a coincidence, claiming that in 2011 she gave a copy of her drug memoir The Hidden Hand to a screenwriter (Rita Miller) who told her she would pitch the story to Empire's Daniels.

She also noted their fashion similarities, as can be seen in her above Instagram photos (now private). Daniels, however, has previously said Cookie was loosely based on his sister, Dynasty character Alexis Carrington (Joan Collins), and other women in his life. Empire creators have yet to comment about Eggleston. See the lawsuit below (via NY Post):

"Empire" Lawsuit


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