There’s no doubt Cookie Lyon is one of the best (and most fashionable) characters on modern television. Have you ever wondered if the Empire matriarch was actually based on a real-life person? A woman named Sophia Eggleston says that Cookie is based on her life and Lee Daniels, the show’s co-creator, ripped off her story. She’s now suing for $300 million.

In 2010, Eggleston published a memoir called The Hidden Hand, which detailed her life as an ex-drug kingpin, reports Page Six. Her lawsuit claims other similarities between the character of Cookie and herself such as having issued a “hit” on someone, having a gay relative and then there’s of course, the wardrobe. Eggleston loves to wear mink coats, just like Cookie.

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Eggleston says in 2011, she met with screenwriter Rita Miller and gave her a copy of her memoir. Months later, she received a phone call from Miller who said she was going to pitch her story to Daniels. She told Page Six, “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.”


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.

Image via screencap.