Jussie Smollett sued by City of Chicago

Lewis Collier
April 12, 2019

Jussie Smollett, the Empire actor accused of fabricating a hate crime against himself to boost his profile, has been sued by the City of Chicago for funds used on the police investigation into his allegation.

The City of Chicago gave Smollett a deadline of April 4 for him to pay $130,106 or they would sue him.

Representatives for Smollett, who has been written out of the last two episodes of "Empire's" current season, declined to comment on the city's lawsuit.

Smollett said he was attacked by two men, who doused him with a chemical and put a noose around his neck in January. The Chicago Police Department calculates that 1,836 hours of overtime were expended in the search for Smollett's attackers, costing taxpayers $130,106.15. He said his attackers also yelled, "This is MAGA country", a reference to President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again".

He was charged in February with staging the incident and filing a false police report.

In a stunning reversal, the Cook County State Attorney's office announced on March 26 that all 16 felony counts against Smollett were being dropped and the record in the case sealed.

The decision to drop the charges against Smollett has led to a firestorm of criticism against State's Attorney Kim Foxx.

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Smollett maintains the attack did occur, and did not admit any guilt to have the charges dropped.

The complaint says Smollett "knowingly made numerous false statements of material fact" and is asking for a civil penalty of $1000 for each of those statements.

"Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th", his attorneys, Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes, said in a statement after the charges were dropped.

An earlier statement issued by the city's Law Department had vowed that the lawsuit against Smollett would pursue "the full measure of damages" allowed by municipal law.

Smollett lawyer Mark Geragos said in a letter to the city last week that claims Smollett made the entire thing up were "defamatory", accusing Chicago of trying to "harass" Smollett and pointing to the dismissal of charges as proof he is innocent.

"For a variety of reasons, including public statements made about the evidence in this case, my office believed the likelihood of securing a conviction was not certain", Foxx wrote in the piece, in which she also welcomed "an outside, nonpolitical review of how we handled this matter".

"We can not create the perception that if you're rich or famous or both that you get one set of justice, and for everybody else it's something much harsher", she said.

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