Mo’Nique, Taraji P Henson, Empire

Ben Gabbe/Getty Images; Chuck Hodes/FOX

Everyone wants a piece of the Cookie!

Remember when it was revealed that Wesley Snipes was originally approached to play Lucious Lyon on Fox's monster-hit Empire, before Taraji P. Henson told co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong she would only do the show if they went with Terrence Howard instead?

Now, Mo'nique, who worked with Daniels on the film Precious, which won her an Oscar, is claiming Henson wasn't the first choice for the breakout role of Cookie Lyon: she's saying she was.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, Mo'Nique claimed, "Mr. Daniels offered me the part of Cookie, and I have the emails and the sides to go along with it, and what he said was, 'I'm new to this TV thing. This is just a have the role.' Okay. I have the emails. Well, four days have gone by because I didn't receive a phone call or another email for the location of where I was supposed to go to do this screen test."

However, Strong is denying Mo'Nique's story, taking to Twitter to dispel the rumor.

"Mo'Nique was never offered roles in Empire or The Butler. ," he wrote.

"Monique is so talented she'd be great in almost anything. But Cookie was always @TherealTaraji," Strong later answered a curious fan on Twitter, with Henson retweeting his reply. 

And you gotta admit, it's hard to imagine anyone else playing the ridiculously fabulous and already iconic role of Cookie other than Henson, right? 

CLICK: One of Empire's best guest stars is heading to another show!


Chuck Hodes/FOX

Mo'Nique's Cookie claim comes after she wrote an explosive essay for The Hollywood Reporter, saying Daniels told her she had been "blackballed" in Hollywood after refusing to "play the game" aka take part in an Oscar campaign. In addition to a then-unspecified  role on Empire, the actress wrote that she was offered the role of Forest Whitaker's wife in Daniels and Strong's The Butler, a part that ultimately went to Oprah Winfrey.

Still, it looks like MoNique isn't harboring any ill will toward Daniels or Empire, saying"Let me say this and be clear. Please support that show. Please support my brother Lee, Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and that whole cast because what they're doing right now is absolutely amazing, and they're breaking records. I don't want anybody to think for a second that there is an issue with myself and the show Empire." 

Empire airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.

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