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Jussie Smollett’s lawyers want the lawsuit against him tossed out

Nick Duffy September 5, 2019
Actor Jussie Smollett

Actor Jussie Smollett (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Former Empire star Jussie Smollett is seeking to have the $130,000 lawsuit against him from the city of Chicago thrown out.

The out actor claims he was the victim of a homophobic and racist attack in January, which Chicago police officers have accused him of faking.

The actor was cleared by a criminal court in March, but the city of Chicago and Chicago Police Department filed civil action seeking to reclaim $130,000 spent investigating the claims.

A motion filed by Smollett’s lawyers on Wednesday (September 4) rejects the suggestion that he should be held liable for the 1,836 hours of police work spent investigating the claim.

Jussie Smollett lawyers seek dismissal of Chicago lawsuit

It says: “The filing of a police report, in and of itself, does not necessitate a sprawling investigation nor does it, as a practical matter, usually result in an investigation as extensive as the one the CPD chose to undertake in this case.

“[The city] has failed to allege that Mr Smollett was similarly ‘well aware’ that his statements to police would result in 1,836 hours of police overtime, or any other reasons why he should have known this would have been the case.”

Actor Jussie Smollett waves as he follows his attorney to the microphones after his court appearance at Leighton Courthouse on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
Actor Jussie Smollett waves as he follows his attorney to the microphones after his court appearance at Leighton Courthouse on March 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty)

His lawyer William J. Quinlan, told the Chicago Sun-Times: “My client from the beginning has maintained his innocence and disputed the city’s allegations.

“It’s going to be very difficult for the city to prevail in making a case my client should pay for overtime for a case ultimately dismissed by the state’s attorney.

“It’s ridiculous and a stretch to require him to do so.”

He added: “The mere fact somebody filed a police report doesn’t presume the investigation will be done and certainly not to the extent of what the city is claiming. Smollett has no control over that.”

‘Every iota’ of attack claims were the truth, actor insists

The lawsuit claims that Smollett “submitted a false police report” and “in reality… knew his attackers and orchestrated the purported attack himself.”

The city is seeking a fine of $1,000 against Smollett “for each false statement he made,” and damages amounting to at least the $130,106 spent by police in overtime pay “as result of Defendant’s false statements.”

A statement on behalf of Smollett in August said: “Regardless of what is said by the city, every iota of information Jussie Smollett has stated has been fully corroborated by the police documents.

“Not documents from his PR or legal team but documents generated by the very people who continuously claim it as fact that he is guilty. But this requires people to look at the actual evidence which nobody seems to want to do.”

More: actor, Empire, Jussie Smollett

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