Marvin Gaye's family is getting litigious again, and this time they're coming after the smash FOX hit series Empire. After successfully suing Robin Thicke and Pharrell over similarities between "Blurred Lines" and the Gaye hit "Got to Give It Up," Marvin Gaye III is now claiming that he trademarked a show similar to Empire, and creator Lee Daniels stole his vision.
According to a report from TMZ, in 2010, Gaye trademarked a show called Diamonds & Ballads or Those Sons of Riches with the Writer's Guild of America. Though it seems like neither show went in to production, Gaye's description of the show as being based on his family and Barry Gordy's family as well as a black Dynasty meets The Sopranos is too close to Daniels' vision for Empire.
Gaye feels as though a statement Daniels made claiming that Empire was similar to the HBO hit The Sopranos solidifies his claim.
Gaye also claims that he pitched Those Sons of Riches to several people in the industry and network television, and those people may have loose associations to Daniel and gave him his treatment.
Though a lawsuit has yet to be filed, a lawyer has already been looking in to this case for the Gaye family and said, "We understand that three things can't be hidden for long: the Sun, the Moon and the Truth!"
Meanwhile, Empire has gone on to be a major success for FOX and a cultural phenomenon in its own right. Soon after its debut, it surpassed its lead-in American Idol in the ratings and had a top-selling album on the Billboard 200. Empire has also had a slew of guest stars, including Mary J Blige, Courtney Love and Estelle.
The show's second season is promised to be bigger with everyone from Ne-Yo to Mariah Carey on board.