August 22, 2021 – Real-life reformed New York drug kingpin Cory (Ghost) Holland is suing 50 Cent, Courtney Kemp and the Starz cable network for one billion dollars, claiming they ripped off his life story for the plot of the smash-hit Starz television franchise Power. Holland filed his lawsuit in federal court out of Manhattan back in the spring.
Kemp, 44, created the show that centers around fictional NYC drug lord James (Ghost) St. Patrick, played by actor Omari Hardrick. Superstar rapper and hip-hop mogul 50 Cent executive produced and co-starred in the series, which has already spawned two successful spinoffs. Power ran for six seasons (2014-2020), establishing a fervent fan base and Starz as a player in the scripted TV space. Critics hailed the show as the “Black Sopranos.”
According to the lawsuit, Holland left prison in the 1990s and in 2007 put together a biographical DVD and a rap CD to distribute in an attempt to dissuade young kids from a life of crime. Holland met with Kemp’s father and when his DVD and rap CD came out, he sent both Kemps copies.
Similar to Power and its Ghost character, Holland had a Caucasian right-hand man and dated and married women that resembled the women Ghost St. Patrick romanced in the show. Holland’s lawsuit claims that between 100 to 200 scenes from Power we’re lifted directly from what he shared with the Kemps.
Holland’s right-hand man was a white guy named Jamie. The character in the show played by Joe Sikora was named “Tommy.”
Lawyers for Kemp and 50 Cent responded by calling the allegations and subsequent litigation frivolous and without merit. 50 Cent’s new show, Black Mafia Family, chronicling the rise and fall of the infamous Flenory brothers from Detroit, who build the biggest urban narcotics organization in American history and ingrained itself in the pop culture ethos of the late 1990s and early 2000s, is set to premiere on Starz next month. Kemp recently inked a deal with Netflix to develop scripted streaming content.
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