Marvin Gaye's Son Claims 'Empire' Idea Was His, According to Report

The family rallies to save Empire Ent. in the "Unto the Breach" episode of Empire airing Wednesday, March 4, 2015.
Chuck Hodes/FOX

The family rallies to save Empire Ent. in the "Unto the Breach" episode of Empire airing Wednesday, March 4, 2015. 

UPDATED 8/11: Marvin Gaye III's lawyer has denied he is the source of the TMZ report. Speaking with Rolling Stone Magazine, Paul Philips said, "Right now, Marvin's interests and our efforts remain focused on the 'Blurred Lines' case and on seeing that through to its conclusion. We will address the TMZ report and the Empire matter at the appropriate time."

Earlier Story:

Marvin Gaye’s son is reportedly gearing up to sue the makers of Fox’s Empire, claiming he had the idea for a similar-sounding series years ago. According to TMZ, Marvin Gaye III claims he registered a treatment for a show about a black family in the music business -- think Dynasty with a hint of Sopranos -- to the Writers Guild of America in 2010.

'Empire' Spin-Off is Coming 'Without Question'

The show, titled Diamonds & Ballads, was said to have been shopped to various television executives, including ones with ties to Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, who said last year that he “wanted to make a black Dynasty.” Empire co-creator Danny Strong has cited William Shakespeare’s King Lear as the inspiration of the show.

Gaye’s lawyer tells TMZ he plans to file a lawsuit against Daniels, Fox and others. The legal threat follows the Gaye family’s court win against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over their hit “Blurred Lines.” The unnamed attorney remarked, "We understand that three things can't be hidden for long: the Sun, the Moon and the Truth!"

An request for comment sent to an address found on Gaye’s website was not immediately returned.

Over the weekend, Empire won TV Program of the Year at the TCA Awards in Beverly Hills. A month ago, the hit show was snubbed by the Emmys.


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