Actors Bryshere Gray, Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers, Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard during the Empire panel discussion at the Fox portion of the 2015 Winter TCA Tour at the Langham Hotel Jan. 17, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The makers of the Fox hit show Empire are being sued on allegations that they have been doing what empire builders have been known to do since the dawn of man: steal.

Ron Newt, author of the book and script Bigger Than Big, has filed a $1 billion lawsuit in California against the Fox network’s Rupert Murdoch, Empire, Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Terrence Howard and Malcolm Spellman alleging copyright infringement and plagiarism, according to documents filed on April 15, 2015, and reported by Entertainment Weekly.

Newt, known as “Gangsta Pimp” back in the day, alleges that the Empire team stole his story, and he outlines the similarities, including the fact that he and Lucious Lyon, played by Howard, wear the “same style” of coats. Further, he says that Lucious’ ex-wife, Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson, and Newt's wife, “China Doll,” have the “same look” when sporting hats, EW writes.

The storyline also cuts close to Newt’s tale, the suit alleges, including claims that Lucious killed four drug dealers. In Chapter 7 of Newt’s book, four drug dealers are killed, writes the entertainment news site. And someone shoots a longtime friend in both works.


The suit alleges that problems began when Newt met Howard at the Four Seasons Hotel and they discussed Bigger Than Big, the story of Newt’s life as a “ghetto player,” the report says.

A Fox representative did not respond to EW’s request for comment.

Read more at Entertainment Weekly.