The breakout hit drama “Empire” has been accused of being a rip-off of other people’s lives and ideas since it’s Fox debut in January. Everyone from Damon Dash to Sean “P. Diddy” Combs have reportedly blamed the show’s creators, Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, for biting from their life story. Now one of Marvin Gaye’s seeds is planning to sue the show for stealing his idea of a program based on his family.
Marvin Gaye III claims he registered the treatment for a show he called “Diamonds & Ballads” (“Those Sons of Riches!”) with the Writer’s Guild of America five years ago. He says the show was to be loosely based on the Gaye family and Motown founder Berry Gordy’s family, according to Black America Web.
The music legend’s son shopped the idea around to TV executives and described the show as “a music based ‘Black’ and ‘hip’ version of ‘Dynasty’ … with a little ‘Sopranos.’ He claims that some of the execs who received his emails about it are in connection with Daniels.
Gaye’s claim seem a bit more credible when taking into account that in 2014, Daniels said of Empire, “I wanted to make a Black ‘Dynasty’” and also admitted that the show was something like “The Sopranos.”
Gaye isn’t the only one planning to take legal action against the show for stealing. Sophia Eggleston claims she pitched her memoir to screenwriter Rita Miller, who said she would present the story to Daniels. Eggleston says Cookie Lyon is based on her life story, and just like the show’s most entertaining character, she wears mink coats, has a gay relative, and ordered a hit out on someone.
Eggleston is reportedly suing the show for $300 million.