You not gon’ lie on Mo’Nique and get away with it.
Earlier this year, Mo’Nique and Empire co-creator Lee Daniels engaged in a war of words over the revelation that Mo’Nique had supposedly been blackballed by Hollywood following her diva antics during the filming and promotion of Precious.
Their bitter feud eventually led Mo’Nique to reveal that she had been offered the role of Cookie Lyon on the FOX hit show Empire. Danny Strong, Lee’s close friend and also Empire co-creator, denied Mo’Nique’s claim, stating on Twitter that she was never offered a role on Empire or in the 2013 film The Butler. See his tweet below!
Well, now Mo’Nique is setting the record straight.
The Academy Award winner recently appeared on Sway in the Morning, where she shared e-mails that in fact prove she was up for the role. Before reading the e-mails live, Mo’Nique took the time to explain her position.
“You know when I heard Danny Strong had come on the show and was adamant about ‘Mo’Nique was never offered that role’ and he’d gone on other places and said it, and I tweeted that brother and said, ‘Will you speak as loudly when you understand that you’re telling something that’s not correct?’
When he began to say things that just weren’t true, that’s when I had to say ‘Brother, I can’t allow you to do that.’ Because when you start putting my character on the line – and I take pride in my career, I take pride in my integrity, I take pride in my character – but when you put it on the line like that and people begin to question me about my character – and these aren’t strangers, these are folks that know me. We done been in conversations, we done broke bread together. So, I wanted to bring the e-mails to you. And you can read them publicly or privately. I just wanted to put it out there. Hey guys, clear my name. That’s it.”
And now, the e-mails:
Feb 18, 2014
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.
There you have it, folks. Watch the interview below.