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STATEMENT: CLEVELAND CAVALIERS’ IMAN SHUMPERT ON CLAIMS ‘EMPIRE’ STOLE HIS LIFE
Friday, Mar 13, 2015
Getty Images
Getty Images

By Amber Ryland

 

Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard/small forward Iman Shumpert weighs in on the controversy surrounding the hit FOX show Empire, and similarities between his real life with girlfriend Teyana Taylor and two characters on the show.

The characters in question are Tiana (played by Serayah McNeill) and Hakeem Lyon (played by Bryshere Gray) who play an on-again-off-again couple on the show.

WATCH: ‘EMPIRE’ Star Jussie Smollet Discusses Sexuality With Ellen

Their looks bear a striking resemblance to Shumpert and his girlfriend — complete with the NBA baller’s high flattop and the R&B singer’s same style of big hair.

Fans of the show and Shumpert immediately noticed the similarities and took to Twitter to voice their opinions.

READ: ‘EMPIRE’ – 20 Times This Week’s Episode Had Us Howling!

Shumpert’s rep gave Dish Nation the following statement regarding his claims that Empire stole his life:

“The Empire story pertaining to myself and my girlfriend Teyana has gotten out of hand. Fans of the show and friends have told us on many occasions that couple favors us but we do not all feel that our lives are being copied/ stolen. I apologize to the actors on the show because they’re just being professionals and don’t deserve slander that’s not what I was trying to portray and I have to be more careful with my choice of words. I do not appreciate the writer using his questions with my answers to draw quotes like I was making these elaborate answers but that’s the media. The writer took a 2-3 min convo of locker room talk after a GREAT TEAM WIN and made it look like a sit down interview and it wasn’t. He twisted words to get the point that he wanted to get across. This is not that serious and though we don’t watch the show we are not against it. Go CAVS! Get Teyana Taylor’s debut album ‘VII’ on iTunes now!!!”

What do you think — did Empire base the characters off Shumpert and Taylor? Sound off in the comments below…

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