Nun Who Says ‘Sister Act’ Was Based on Her Life Sues Movie Studios
A woman who says her autobiography was the inspiration for the popular ‘Sister Act’ movie and stage franchise is now suing Walt Disney Co. and Sony Pictures for breach of contract, misappropriation of likeness, unjust enrichment and other claims.
In 1987, Delois Blakely, described in the court documents as a “young, Black, singing nun serving the street people and youths of Harlem,” wrote ‘The Harlem Street Nun.’ She says she sent a three-page synopsis to Tri-Star Pictures producer Cynthia Bowles, who allegedly mailed back a letter expressing interest in the movie rights.
The suit claims producer Scott Rudin later took the ‘Sister Act’ idea to Disney, where the eventual film made more than $230 million and spawned a sequel and a Broadway musical.
Blakely’s lawsuit demands an injunction against further violation of her publicity rights and equitable relief. The studios involved have declined to comment.