Deborah Copaken, the author behind best-selling books Shutterbabe, The Red Book, and Between Here and April, claims that in her upcoming memoir Ladyparts, she wasn’t properly credited for her contributions to Netflix’s Emmy nominated series, Emily, in Paris. Copaken lists TV mogul Darren Star as the main figure responsible for the oversight, revealing that the two had a long friendship and work relationship. However, she says Star used experiences from the author’s life to craft the successful story. Star denies Copaken’s claims.
Copaken alleges that Star came to her with the show after having sold the concept to Paramount. The series focuses on a young writer who moves to Paris. Copaken, who worked as a writer on Younger, also spent much of her twenties living in Paris, making her a perfect consultant for Star and contributing various suggestions to help build up the pilot. She says that Star gave her $5,000 out of his pocket and promised that should the show receive a green light order, she would be offered a space in the writer’s room and an opportunity to write her own script. “He’s a good enough friend that I trust he both knows what he’s talking about and would never deliberately keep money out of my pocket or a credit off my résumé,” Copaken writes.
Without asking for a written deal, Copaken accepted the deal because of her need to control her financial and career situation. “Darren has clout in the TV world, I don’t, and the promise of an actual paid job in a TV writers’ room plus an actual script of my own — both of which would allow me to get back on my WGA health insurance for at least two years and give me an on-ramp into a new career — is too good to pass up,” she writes in the memoir.
Star, whose known in Hollywood for delivering Sex and the City and Younger, had a representative send a statement to Entertainment Weekly calling Copaken’s accusations “blatantly false.” It goes on to say that the Writer’s Guild also investigated her claims and it was found that they had no merit or warrant for crediting. A WGA representative confirmed that statement. “The Guild investigated Ms. Copaken’s claim and determined that she was not eligible for credit,” The Writer’s Guild representative said.