Chicago to sue Jussie Smollett for cost of alleged ‘false police report’
The city of Chicago has said they plan to sue Empire actor Jussie Smollett for the cost of investigating what they have insisted was a staged hate crime.
In a statement released yesterday, the city’s law department said they had written to Smollett and demanded he pay $130,106.15 within seven days to reimburse the city for the cost of the investigation.
They said that Smollett had “refused” to pay and said they would be filing a lawsuit “in the near future” in an attempt to recoup the costs.
“The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County,” the statement said.
Smollett has maintained that he is innocent.
All charges were dropped against Jussie Smollett for the allegedly ‘staged’ hate crime
Smollett had been accused of staging a racist and homophobic hate crime, however, prosecutors dropped all charges against him on 26 March.
The actor—who is openly gay—had been facing 16 felony counts after he reported the alleged hate crime to police in January.
When police tracked down Smollett’s attackers, they claimed that Smollett paid them to stage the alleged hate crime in an effort to boost his career.
He was later indicted by a grand jury in Chicago for allegedly faking the hate crime and for filing a false police report.
All charges were dropped during an unscheduled court appearance on 26 March in which the state filed a motion to dismiss all charges against Smollett and seal the case.
“I am a man who has faith and knowledge of our history, and I would not bring my family, our lives and the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn’t.”
– Jussie Smollett, who has maintained his innocence
Speaking to media after the court appearance, Smollett said: “I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was accused of.
“This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life, but I am a man who has faith and knowledge of our history, and I would not bring my family, our lives and the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn’t.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel claimed the decision was ‘a whitewash of justice’
Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel said later that day at a press conference that the decision to drop the charges was “a whitewash of justice.” He reiterated his belief that Smollett had faked the hate crime.
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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said that justice had not been served by the decision and said the city was owed an apology.
Last week, the city of Chicago said they were pursuing Smollett for the cost of the “extensive investigation” into his claims.
However, a spokesperson for the actor said: “It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie – owe him an apology – for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud.
“Jussie has paid enough.”
The actor agreed to forfeit his $10,000 release bond as the case was dismissed.