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Family maid sues author of "The Help"

Help A woman who once worked as a maid for a relative of Kathryn Stockett, author of the bestselling novel The Help, is suing the writer, saying that a black servant character in the book was based on her and showed her in a bad light.

The Associated Press reports that Ablene Cooper, who worked for Stockett's brother, filed suit in Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Miss., on Feb. 9, seeking $75,000 in damages.

One of the offending passages cited, says the AP, includes a scene in which the character, named Aibileen, refers to a cockroach, saying, "He black. Blacker than me."

The Help, which was published in 2009 and sold 2.5 million hardcover copies in the U.S., is based on relationships between white families and black maids in the South of the 1960s. A film version, due out this summer, stars Emma Stone, Allison Janney, Bryce Dallas Howard, Viola Davis, Sissy Spacek and Octavia Spencer.

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