The Dirty can exclusively reveal director Lee Daniels scored a huge victory in the $300 million dollar legal battle – in which the he was accused of stealing the idea for his show ‘Empire’ – with a judge throwing out the case after the woman suing was found to be mentally incompetent.
A former gangster named Sophia Eggleston sued FOX and Lee Daniels accusing them of ripping off her autobiography “The Hidden Hand” and turning it into their show … along with claiming the Cookie Lyon character – played by Taraj P. Henson – was lifted from her book.
She claimed she had given a copy of her story to another screenwriter back in 2011. Eggleston claimed the writer told her she was going to pitch the story to Daniels at a meeting … but she claimed she never heard back.
Flash forward to 2014, once she saw the advertising for ‘Empire’ she knew her story was stolen. She pointed to alleged similarities between Cookie – played by Taraj P. Henson – and the female character in her story. She alleged Daniels stole her characters.
The case has been pending for months. Recently, docs were filed stating Eggleston was a defendant in a health care fraud case. She had to undergo a psych exam in the criminal case and it was determined she is mentally incompetent.
Then this week, Daniels and the woman filed a stipulation of dismissal explaining they agreed to bring an end to the case … dismissing all claims against the other … and each pay their own attorney fees.