JACKSON, MS (AP) - A black woman who once worked as a maid for a relative of novelist Kathryn Stockett is suing the author of the best-selling book "The Help," claiming she was the basis for a black servant character who she thought depicted her in a poor light.
Ablene Cooper claims author Kathryn Stockett used her name and likeness without permission - and with embarrassing results. A driving character in the book, which is based on relationships between white families and their black servants, is a black maid named Aibileen.
The lawsuit was filed Feb. 9 in Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Miss., where Stockett grew up. It asks for $75,000 in damages, an amount chosen to keep the litigation from ending up in federal court.
Penguin USA publisher Amy Einhorn says she doesn't think there's any basis to the lawsuit.
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