Sports

Iman Shumpert Says 'Empire' Stole His Identity (And His GF Teyana Taylor's, Too)

By HHL Editors

More than a few folks have noticed the similarities between the character Hakeem Lyon on Empire and Cleveland Cavs swingman Iman Shumpert.

Hakeem, who's played by Bryshere Y. Gray, is the Lyon family's youngest son and an aspiring rapper. He sports a Shumpert-like high-top fade hairstyle, and also sounds like Shumpert -- who raps when he's not on the court.

Furthermore, the character dates a singer named "Tiana," whereas Shumpert is attached to real-life R&B songstress Teyana Taylor.

Shumpert addressed the similarities in an interview with Cleveland.com.

"They're using my girl's character, her style, her look and she's not getting anything for it," Shumpert said of Taylor. "They didn't even change her name. They could have at least let my girl audition for the part instead of stealing her character completely. "And come on man, they're really using a guy with a flat-top like me. Come on. That's ridiculous. They never called us. We were blindsided. We found out by our family and fans when the show aired."
Well, at least Hakeem isn't a NBA player, too. So it's more like the creators of Empire picked Shumpert's pocket than they completely robbed his house.

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