The city of Chicago is preparing to sue Jussie Smollett.
According to Bill McCaffrey, a spokesperson for the city of Chicago’s Department of Law, “has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on Jan. 29, 2019.”
“The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County,” the statement continues. “Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s Los Angeles-based legal team. The Law Department will file the suit in the near future. As part of this legal action, the Law Department will pursue the full measure of damages allowed under the ordinance. The City of Chicago and Chicago Law Department will not have any further comment at this time.”
Last month, charges against Jussie Smollett for allegedly filing a false police report for being a victim of a hate crime were dropped. But just a few days after the court ruling, the city of Chicago issued the actor a letter seeking $130,106.15 to cover the costs of the investigation into the actor’s alleged attack.
The letter stated in part that “in order to resolve the matter without further legal action, the city requires immediate payment of the $130,106.15 expended on overtime hours in the investigation of this matter.” The letter further states that payment was to be made within seven days or the Department of Law may prosecute Jussie for making a false statement to the city of Chicago.
“The city feels this is a reasonable and legally justifiable amount to collect to help offset the cost of the investigation,” Bill McCaffrey said at the time.
Throughout the past couple of months of his legal battles, Jussie has maintained his innocence and denied all allegations against him. His legal team also issued a letter explaining why the actor is refusing to pay the city. In the letter, Jussie’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, reportedly claims that “city’s letter is both factually and legally flawed” and that Jussie “will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum of $130,106.15,” according to ET’s report.
After the charges were dropped, Jussie’s lawyer, Patricia Brown Holmes accused the city’s officials of carrying out a smear campaign against her client in a statement to ET:
“We are disappointed the local authorities have continued their campaign against Jussie Smollett after the charges against him have been dropped. The facts are clear. The Assistant State’s Attorney appeared in court and dismissed the charges. Mr. Smollett forfeited his bond. The case is closed. No public official has the right to violate Mr. Smollett’s due process rights. Mr. Smollett, like every citizen, is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”
Jussie, who stars in Empire as Jamal Lyon, was written out of this season’s final two episodes. But according to hi co-star, Taraji P. Henson, who plays Cookie Lyon, Jussie will be back next season. “Yes. I haven’t heard anything else,” she said during a visit to The View. “I haven’t heard anything.”
“We’re on hiatus right now. The writers are trying to figure out what next season is going to look like, what our storyline is going to be,” Taraji explains. “[They’re] trying to drum up some really juicy stuff for you guys, so that’s where we are right now.”