Chicago Suing Jussie Smollett for Cost of Investigation

Brenda Watkins
April 12, 2019

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court, 16 days after prosecutors in the Cook County state's attorney's office dismissed all criminal charges against Smollett.

The legal action comes just days after Smollett refused a city demand that he pay more than $130,000 to reimburse Chicago.

The city is suing for $130,000 to recoup their costs.

Attorney Mark Geragos responded: "Mr. Smollett's preference remains, however, that this matter be closed and that he be allowed to move on with his life". Bill McCaffrey, a spokesperson for the city of Chicago's Department of Law told ET last week that the city meant to go after the star for reimbursement of expenditures. But the City of Chicago and its police department maintain that he did and in the complaint, the city is asking for a jury trial "to recover civil penalties, statutory treble damages, and attorney's fees and costs arising from the Defendant's false statements to the City".

Smollett's lawyers contend city officials were the ones who owed him an apology. "You around to meet up and talk face to face?"

According to the complaint, after Smollett met with Abel's brother, Ola, Smollett allegedly "directed the Osundairo Brothers to stage the fake attack on the evening of January 28, 2019, near his apartment building in Streeterville".

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The lawsuit claims Jussie then set up the attack with Abel and his brother Ola, and the group agreed Abel would attack Jussie but would not hurt him too badly and would give Jussie a chance to appear to fight back.

Smollett's lawyers said they will depose Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Police Supt.

"Given that he doesn't feel any sense of contrition and remorse, my recommendation is when he writes check in the memo section [of the check], he can put the word 'I'm accountable for the hoax", Emanuel stated.

"The City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department take seriously those who make false statements to the police, thereby diverting resources from other investigations and undermining the criminal justice system", said the letter signed by Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel.

The "Empire" actor has been accused of orchestrating the January 29 assault, during which he claims two men yelled racial and homophobic slurs while beating him, pouring an unknown chemical substance on him and wrapping a rope around his neck. The actor, who is black and openly gay, said the masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled "This is MAGA country" - an apparent reference to President Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again".

Police ultimately came to believe Smollett staged the attack to bolster his profile and career, but all 16 felony disorderly conduct charges against the "Empire" actor were dropped last month.

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