In an article on Time.com, editor Madison Gray goes in-depth about the Sophia Stewart story and how it has flourished on the internet. If you haven’t seen the “today I learned” reddit posts, or random Facebook messages, and are unfamiliar with the story; supposedly the story for “The Matrix Trilogy” and “The Terminator” franchise all came from the mind of Sophia Stewart, who calls herself “The Mother of The Matrix”. She did file suit against Warner Bros. and The Wachowskis, and according to many reports she won billions of dollars due to her claim being legitimized. The issue with this is that it is “patently false”.
“But the courts do not believe that her work was plagiarized by the Wachowskis or Cameron. The ruling from Morrow held that “plaintiff Sophia Stewart take nothing by way of her complaint against defendants…” Stewart reportedly failed to show up for her court date, but she denies any failure. The lawsuit was dismissed with the judge ruling Stewart and her attorneys “had not entered any evidence to bolster its key claims or demonstrated any striking similarity between her work and the accused directors’ films,” according to Snopes. The defendants were awarded $305,235.62 in attorney fees, but Stewart said they never collected.”
I have actually spoken with Stewart on her Facebook page before about this topic. It was an interesting discussion because she continued to claim victory from the trial, using the internet rumors to bolster her claim. When sources were provided such as the ones above she would either stop talking or dismiss them as a part of the system of lies. Her followers would also rally around the flag and claim that she was owed billions due to her supposed victory. She has continued to state her case that her story was stolen, and while I can’t speak to the veracity of that I can say that the court has not agreed with her yet, even going so far as to order her to pay the Defendant’s legal fees.
Time summarized the whole mess well with this paragraph: “In Stewart’s case, the Internet rumors that she was triumphant in her case have flourished. To be clear, the stories that the producers of “The Matrix” trilogy have forked over billions of dollars to Stewart are patently false. No judgment of damages for funds in any amount were decided in her favor. The case has been closed since 2005, but urban legend found its way to the Internet and for nearly a decade many who read unresearched stories believe that Stewart actually won her case.” Maybe in the future I’ll have to see less Reddit/Facebook posts about this story…but probably not.