After being indicted by Chicago prosecutors for allegedly staging a hate crime attack against himself, Jussie Smollett is now facing yet another battle. According to Fox News, the city of Chicago isn’t going to drop its lawsuit against the actor to recover the costs associated with the investigation related to the attack.
Yesterday, Smollett was hit with six new felony criminal charges after being indicted by a grand jury for disorderly conduct. The former Empire actor is accused of lying to police and staging an attack to make it appear as if he was jumped by two men making racist and homophobic slurs against him. He claimed that two men wearing MAGA hats put a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him.
But prosecutors say the attack was staged. As a result, the city of Chicago brought a civil lawsuit against the 37-year-old to recoup the costs of investigating the reported crime. All told, the city is seeking nearly a half-million dollars from the actor. It has no plans to drop the lawsuit.
“We look forward to reviewing the indictment and, as we have said previously, the City stands by our original complaint seeking to recover costs for Mr. Smollett’s false statements,” the city said in a statement. “We again thank the Chicago Police Department detectives for their hard work on this case the original investigation.”
The two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, who are accused of participating in the alleged hoax, are slated to testify against Smollett. They’re expected to say that the entire situation was masterminded by Smollett. They claim the actor paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, reportedly so he could gain attention and sympathy from the press to bolster his career.
If he is convicted in criminal court, a judge could order Smollett to pay restitution, but the city is choosing to pursue its case regardless, an act that is being fought by Smollett, who paid the city $10,000 when the charges were initially dropped against him.
The actor was previously indicted on 16 charges related to the hate crime, but the state’s attorney Kim Foxx dropped all the charges, as The Inquisitr previously reported. Foxx’s decision was met with some backlash after she refused to give details about why she dropped the charges during the initial hearing. It was subsequently discovered that she hadn’t recused herself from the case, despite claiming she had.
Smollett maintains his innocence and is slated to head back to court on February 24.