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Bosses of the hit TV show Empire being sued again

27 August 2015, 07:50

Los Angeles  - The creators of Empire are being sued for $500m.

Jon Astor-White is suing the musical drama's executive producers Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, as well as Imagine Entertainment and 21st Century Fox, claiming they have ripped off the idea for the show from a programme called King Solomon, which he shopped around in 2007.

According to TMZ, Jon faxed a treatment for the show - which was about a record executive and his family and their battle over company control - around to various companies and it included a proposed cast list featuring the likes of Richard Roundtree, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, John Goodman and George Hamilton.

Jon described his show as "the style and elegance of Dynasty meets The Sopranos with a sprinkling of The Godfather.

He is seeking $500m plus additional damages.

The claim comes weeks after Marvin Gaye's son, Marvin Gaye III, also planned to take legal action over the show, claiming they stole his idea.

Marvin claimed to have registered a treatment on a show called Diamonds & Ballads, aka Those Sons of Riches!, with the Writers Guild of America in 2010, with the proposed drama pitched as "a music based 'black' and 'hip' version of Dynasty ... with a little Sopranos.''

When he shopped the proposal round to TV executives, Marvin told them it was loosely based on his own family, as well as Motown producer Berry Gordy and his loved ones, and he claims some of the people he approached were associates of Lee.

Marvin believes the Empire boss previously unwittingly confessed to stealing the idea after the show made it big.

Drawing comparisons to The Sopranos, Lee said last year: ''I wanted to make a black Dynasty."

He is now planning to file a lawsuit for an unspecified sum.

His lawyer said: "We understand that three things can't be hidden for long: the Sun, the Moon and the Truth!(sic)"

- BangShowBiz


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