Nun sues Sister Act filmmakers for stealing her life story

Harlem nun Delois Blakely claims Walt Disney Co. and Sony Pictures unlawfully used her life story as the basis for the hit comedy Sister Act, and is suing accordingly.

Blakely’s autobiography The Harlem Street Nun (published in 1987) detailed her experiences as a “young, Black, singing nun serving the street people and youths”.

According to her complaint, filed almost twenty years after the film’s release, Blakely approached a number of film studios and producers with a three-page synopsis of her book. One of those studios was Tri Star Pictures, where Scott Rudin allegedly picked up the project and brought it to Disney.

Also worth noting: the lead character played by Whoopi Goldberg was named Deloris. 

Sister Act grossed more than $230 million at the box office and was followed by a sequel (best known for its puntastic subtitle Back in the Habit) as well as a hit Broadway musical.

For those of you keeping up with the Hollywood lawsuits of 2011:

Joyce McKinney sues Errol Morris over Tabloid

Screenwriter sues Sylvester Stallone over Expendables

Man sues film-makers of The Hangover Part 2 for ‘ripping off’ his life

Women sues over misleading Drive trailer

Harlan Ellison sues the makers of In Time

Joe Quirk sues the makers of Premium Rush

Discuss: Does Blakely have a case?

2 Responses to “Nun sues Sister Act filmmakers for stealing her life story”

  1. What is the statute of limitations on suing for infringed life rights as a singing nun?

  2. At least the team behind “the Flying Nun” are safe!

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