The City of Chicago just filed a lawsuit against Jussie Smollett in order to recover the costs associated with the attack he claims he suffered. According to The Chicago Tribune, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration went to court on Thursday to force the actor to reimburse the city over $130,000.
The civil lawsuit, which was filed in Cook County, Illinois, is just the latest in the saga, which began when Smollett claimed he was attacked by two men who shouted racist slurs at him, poured a liquid that smelled like bleach on him, and then put a noose around his neck. Later, the police said that they believed the attack was staged and charged Smollett for filing a false police report.
In a stunning about-face, prosecutors announced their decision to drop all charges against the Empire actor, saying that though they had the evidence to charge Smollett, it wasn’t worth the cost associated with the case.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who wasn’t alerted to the decision beforehand, called the decision a “whitewash of justice.” The Chicago police chief also decried the decision.
Now, the city is demanding that Smollett pay $130,106 to reimburse the city for the costs associated with verifying and investigating Smollett’s claims. Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel issued a letter explaining the city’s decision to sue Smollett.
“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,” the letter read.
The lawsuit doesn’t specify how much it is demanding.
The city had threatened to sue the actor last week if he didn’t pay their demands, but Smollett’s representative Mark Geragos said that Smollett wouldn’t be intimidated and wouldn’t apologize. They vowed to fight the charges suit.
“Mr. Smollett’s preference remains, however, that this matter be closed and that he be allowed to move on with his life,” Geragos wrote.
In fact, Smollett’s lawyers believe that he is owed the apology.
“It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie… an apology — for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud,” their statement said. “Jussie has paid enough.”
Smollett has repeatedly denied making a false report and his lawyer has called the city’s claim that he did “defamatory.”
A representative for the city told the Tribune that the city has a high success rate for going after people to recover funds when they violate the law, so the city is confident that it will recover its costs.