Empire is no stranger to being sued, and Marvin Gaye’s family is no stranger to suing. Having already won a legal battle with Pharrell and Robin Thicke over the use of “Blurred Lines,” Marvin Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III, is planning on throwing down the legal gauntlet against the creators of Fox’s highly successful Empire.
Gaye III claims that he wrote a treatment — which he also registered with the Writers Guild of America — for a similar show back in 2010. He also claims that when he was shopping his show around, Lee Daniels was privy to emails describing the show. Gaye’s show, Diamonds & Ballads, was what he called a mixture of Dynasty and The Sopranos. In 2014, Lee Daniels, one of Empire‘s creators, described his brainchild as being a direct descendant of those two programs. Coincidence?
Last week, it was reported that Sophia Eggleston was suing Lee Daniels and co-creator Danny Strong over the use of the Cookie character, a character Eggleston insists is based on her life story which was detailed in her memoir The Hidden Hand. She’s suing Daniels and Strong to the tune of $300 million, but there’s no word yet on what Marvin Gaye III is seeking in his suit against the show.