Author Terri Donald, who wrote under the pen name “TLO RED’ness,” is actually suing Perry in a federal court, claiming he stole the plot for his 2012 movie Good Deeds from her book and alleges Perry based Good Deeds on her 2007 novel Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit.
The official lawsuit states that Donald sent Perry a copy of her book years before production on his film began.
The description of Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit does reveal striking similarities to Perry’s film:
A compelling story of a woman’s struggle to free herself from the past in order to move forward in the future with the man she loves. In this story her past unravels tragedy, murder and her secret. The two come to grips with the truths and decide for the future and what it has to offer them.
Donald is seeking $225,000 in damages and also an injunction requiring Tyler Perry Studios to add a credit for her book to the opening and closing credits for Good Deeds.
Perry’s film earned $35 million at the box office after its February release and starred Thandie Newton, Gabrielle Union, Phylicia Rashad and Beverly Johnson.
Representatives for Perry and Lions Gate Entertainment have yet to comment on Donald’s allegations.