The Jussie Smollett-Chicago scandal continued on Wednesday after the former Empire actor filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming their prosecution against him caused “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress.” According to The Hill, the lawsuit is a counterclaim to the city’s case against him claiming he filed a fraudulent police report over an attack he alleges he sustained last winter.
Smollett claims that he was attacked by two men in January who were wearing red Make America Great Again hats. He says that they shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him while placing a rope noose around his neck and pouring a chemical that smelled like bleach on him. After Smollett filed a police report, Chicago law enforcement said that the attack appeared to have been staged by the actor with the help of two brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo. After the events, the actor was written out of the show he was starring in at the time and has largely laid low.
While the city dropped its charges against the 34-year-old for the alleged false police report, it did decide to recover over $130,000 in costs associated with the investigation.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Smollet is targeting the Chicago Police Department, Detectives Michael Theis and Edward Wodnicki, Superintendent Eddie Johnson, and the Osundairo brothers in his lawsuit.
The actor’s lawyer says that police acted on the word of the Osundario brothers, who they say made “false, self-serving, and unreliable statements in order to close the investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett.”
The lawsuit points to the fact that the city dropped its case against Smollet, saying that proceedings ended “in Mr. Smollett’s favor and in a manner which indicates his innocence because all 16 counts of the criminal indictment were dismissed two and a half weeks after the indictment was filed.”
The lawsuit goes on to say that Smollett feels that he has been made the target of “mass public ridicule” as a result of the city’s case against him.
Smollett’s lawsuit comes just after U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall issued a decision not to throw out Chicago’s lawsuit against the actor.
“The city must prove the truth of these allegations to prevail at summary judgment or trial, at which point Smollett will be free to dispute the city’s claims,” the decision read.
Smollett and the city have been battling back and forth since April, when the city claimed that the actor owed them for the overtime they were forced to pay officers in order to investigate his allegations.