When Sophia Eggleston, 53, watched Empire she saw many similarities of her own life. She claims that Loretha (Cookie) Lyon, played by Taraji P. Henson, is based on her own story. Eggleston is now suing Fox, Lee Daniels, and Rita Miller for copyright infringement. The $300 million suit claims that Eggleston wrote a book called “The Hidden Hand” which is her memoir chronicling her prison experience and drug lifestyle. The suit also claims that “she gave her book to screenwriter Rita Miller, who informed Eggleston that she wanted to pitch the book to Daniels.”
When Eggleston watched the show she saw many similarities. She looked to Cookies style (Eggleston claims to wear a lot of minks), Cookie’s gay son (Eggleston has a gay relative), her experience in jail, and she also put a hit on someone just like the character in Empire.
“The whole city (Detroit) has 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,” Eggleston told the New York Post.
The second season of Empire premieres Sept. 23 on Fox.