Ron Newt, who claims he previously signed a "multi-million dollar" record deal with Michael Jackson and Death Row Records, sued Daniels, show star Terrence Howard and others in April (15), claiming Empire is a replica of his film, Bigger Than Big: The Documentary of Ron Newt & the MCA Music Scandal.

The 2006 film details his life as a "gangster, pimp and drug dealer", and in court documents obtained by, Newt pointed out a number of similarities between Empire and his documentary. He also alleged he met with Howard years ago to discuss the film, and claims the actor wanted to play the lead role in a movie version of his life.

Newt is seeking $1 billion in damages from Daniels, Howard and executives at the network, but TV bosses are now asking a judge to dismiss the lawsuit insisting his "crudely written, violent, regretful autobiographical works" is nothing like their "dialogue-rich, soap opera- styled family drama."

The defendants' lawyers write, "Plaintiff's Works are not substantially similar in protectable expression to Empire, which dooms his copyright claim. Because Plaintiff fails to allege that he disclosed his Works to Defendants..., he also fails to allege that these Defendants voluntarily accepted the Works under circumstances implying an agreement."