TV

Mo’Nique was offered the role of Cookie in ‘Empire,’ has e-mails to prove it

The rift between one time collaborators Mo’Nique and Lee Daniels continues, as Mo’Nique has come forward with proof that Daniels did offer her the role of Cookie Lyons on the FOX hit Empire.

When Mo’Nique revealed that she was offered the role (which ultimately went to Taraji P Henson), people started side-eyeing her – thinking she was getting back at Lee Daniels who said Mo’Nique “blackballed herself” in Hollywood after winning an Oscar for Precious. Danny Strong, one of the co-creators of Empire, even went on record that Mo’Nique was never offered the role.

But now we have proof that Mo’Nique has no vendetta as she went on Sway in the Morning and showed Sway e-mails of the offer.

It looks like Lee Daniels really wanted Mo’Nique to be Cookie, but FOX executives wanted Taraji instead.

Mo'Nique was offered the role of Cookie in 'Empire,' and she has the e-mails to prove it

The e-mails read by Sway:

Feb. 18, 2014

Good Afternoon,

Lee Daniels had a conversation with Mo’Nique about his new television pilot for Imagine Tv/Fox called “Empire.” We would like to screen test her for the role of ‘Cookie.’ Please contact us with her television quotes, so that we can start a test, option, deal. We are tentatively looking at Monday, Feb 24 for the screen test.

Feb. 18, 2014

Hello I am following up on my previous e-mail regarding Lee Daniels’ pilot and Mo’Nique’s television quotes. This is a time sensitive matter. Lee really does not want Mo’Nique to miss this opportunity.

March 3, 2014

Unfortunately it’s not going any further for Mo’Nique. Lee fought for her because he thought she would be great for the pilot but studio and network executives insisted on offering the role to Taraji. Thank you so much for providing us with her information. Sorry it didn’t work out. We’re all big fans of hers.


I’m very happy that Mo’Nique was able to clear her name on this.

In other news, her co-star in Precious, Gabourey Sidibe has been promoted to series regular on Empire.

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