Chicago sues Jussie Smollett for $130,000 to cover police costs
The city of Chicago has launched a civil lawsuit against Empire actor Jussie Smollett, weeks after a criminal case was dropped.
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of the city on Thursday (April 11), just two weeks after prosecutors dismissed criminal charges against the actor, who claimed in January that he was the victim of a homophobic and racist attack.
Smollett has maintained his innocence throughout, but Chicago officials demanded he pay a large bill to cover the costs of the police investigation, doubling down on claims he invented the attack.
Chicago officials repeat claims that Jussie Smollett faked attacked
The lawsuit, filed in Cook County circuit court, repeats claims that Smollett “submitted a false police report” and “in reality… knew his attackers and orchestrated the purported attack himself.”
It states: “The CPD [Chicago Police Department] expended significant resources investigating Defendant’s false report of a high-profile hate crime and physical assault.
“Over two dozen CPD officers and detectives participated in the investigation, ultimately spending weeks investigating Defendant’s false statements.
“During the course of CPD’s investigation into Defendant’s false statements, CPD has incurred 1,836 overtime hours, which resulted in the City paying $130,106.15 in overtime pay as result of Defendant ’s false statements.”
The lawsuit seeks a fine of $1,000 against Smollett “for each false statement he made,” and damages including the overtime fees.
Smollett is yet to respond to the suit.
Jussie Smollett representatives say he has ‘paid enough’
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However, a spokesperson for the actor said previously: “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.”
Speaking after the criminal charges were dismissed, 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.”
Smollett thanked his legal counsel and the state of Illinois, before adding: “I’d like nothing more than to get back to work and move on with my life, but make no mistakes, I will always continue to fight for justice, equality and the betterment of marginalised people everywhere.”