Empire’s success has inspired a bunch of salty individuals to come forward and accuse the show of stealing some portion of their life. Hard to believe.

This week, it’s Marvin Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III, who’s claiming that Empire stole his idea for the show. Billboard reports:

The show, titled Diamonds & Ballads, was said to have been shopped to various television executives, including ones with ties to Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, who said last year that he “wanted to make a black Dynasty.” Empire co-creator Danny Strong has cited William Shakespeare’s King Lear as the inspiration of the show.

Then there’s Sophia Eggleston, who filed a lawsuit in May claiming that Taraji P. Henson’s Cookie character is based on her life. From Page Six:

Eggleston, 53, who says in the suit she was a “drug kingpin” who did jail time for manslaughter for placing a “hit” on a man, claims she wrote her life story into a memoir about her “early drug lifestyle” titled “The Hidden Hand.” In 2011, she traveled to LA to meet with screenwriter Rita Miller and gave Miller a copy of her book. Her copyright suit, filed in US District Court in Michigan, says she got a call from Miller several months later saying she was going to pitch her story to Daniels.

Likewise, Ron Newt thinks Empire’s resemblance to his life is rather uncanny if you ask him. He wants a billion dollars, which should suffice for stealing his very essence. According to TMZ:

Ron Newt, who describes himself as a “known ghetto player” claims he met with Terrence at the Four Seasons hotel a while back and they discussed Ron’s documentary, “Bigger than Big.” Ron says Terrence connected to it, and said he wanted to play him in the film.

And Fox is preemptively suing Empire Distribution, which alleges that the show ripped off their name. Via The Hollywood Reporter:

...Fox is suing Empire Distribution, Inc., which is identified as a California corporation that has not only come forward asserting rights to “Empire,” “Empire Distribution” and “Empire Recordings” but has also in a demand letter claimed trademark dilution by tarnishment via a series that features “a label run by a homophobic drug dealer prone to murdering his friends.”

Lastly, my billion-dollar lawsuit against Empire for stealing the blowjob bib storyline is currently pending.


Contact the author at clover@jezebel.com.

Image via Fox

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