Home News Chicago files suit against Smollett for $130k over hoax attack investigation

Chicago files suit against Smollett for $130k over hoax attack investigation


Kate Feldman
New York Daily News

The city of Chicago followed through with its threat to sue Jussie Smollett Thursday.

The lawsuit, filed in the circuit court of Cook County, Illinois, claims that the “Empire” actor is responsible for costs associated with the investigation into an alleged attack on him that police believe he made up.

In late January, Smollett claimed he had been attacked by two men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him and put a rope around his neck while yelling “This is MAGA country.”

“In reality, Defendant knew his attackers and orchestrated the purported attack himself,” the lawsuit, obtained by the Daily News, reads.

“Later, when police confronted him with evidence about his attackers, he still refused to disclose his involvement in planning the attack. In investigating Defendant’s false statements and false police report, the City incurred significant costs in order to provide services reasonably related to Defendant’s conduct.”

According to the suit, Smollett had complained to one of his alleged co-conspirators, Abimbola (Abel) Osundairo, “that he was unhappy with the way his employers handled a racist and homophobic letter he had allegedly received three days earlier, and, as a result, he wanted to stage an attack where Abel would appear to batter him.”

City employees filed 1,836 hours of overtime during the investigation, according to the lawsuit, totaling $130,106.15 in overtime pay.

In late March, Chicago sent a bill to Smollett, demanding an “immediate payment” of about $130,000 in order to pay for the cost of the police investigation, according to a letter from the Chicago Department of Law acquired by The News.

Smollett failed to pay up at the deadline, at which point the city threatened to file a civil complaint.

Chicago is requesting $1,000 civil penalty “for each false statement” Smollett allegedly made, as well as three times the amount of the damages that the City sustained, litigation and collection costs and attorneys’ fees.

Smollett’s attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.

Smollett was charged with filing a false police report after officer said he had staged a late January attack and paid two brothers to help him, but the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dismissed all charges against him, despite disapproval from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

The actor has denied any wrongdoing.


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