Chicago, IL – Disgraced former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett has filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago, alleging that he was the victim of a malicious prosecution.
Smollett’s attorneys filed the counterclaim on Tuesday, alleging that prosecutors and police created a “hoax narrative” that resulted in him becoming the “subject of mass public ridicule,” The Hill reported.
Smollett said that he suffered financial hardship, extreme distress and humiliation as a result of the alleged malicious prosecution, according to FOX News.
Multiple Chicago police officers and Smollett’s two co-defendants were also named in the suit, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
The City of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Smollett after he failed to pay the $130,106.15 the police department spent on overtime to investigate the hoax hate crime the actor staged on himself on January 29.
Smollett told police on Jan. 29 that he had been attacked by two white supporters of President Donald Trump on his way home from a Subway restaurant.
He claimed the men called him homophobic and anti-black slurs and told him “This is MAGA country” as they beat him up and put a noose around his neck. He also said they threw a chemical on him.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson explained at a press conference the day of Smollett’s arrest that that police considered the actor a victim up until Ola and Abel Osundairo returned from Nigeria to Chicago and were taken into police custody, and then the investigation “spun in a totally different direction.”
“We gave him the benefit of the doubt up until that 47th hour. But when we discovered the actual motive, quite frankly, it pissed everybody off,” he explained.
He said the brothers told police that Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, with another $500 after they returned from a planned trip to Nigeria.
“We have the check that he used to pay them,” Superintendent Johnson said.
“The city feels this is a reasonable and legally just amount to help offset the cost of the investigation,” the city’s legal department spokesperson Bill McCaffrey said at the time, according to WMAQ. “Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019.”
Smollett was initially charged with 16 felonies in connection with his bogus claims of being attacked, but the charges were later dropped by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
In his countersuit, Smollett claimed that Chicago police “disseminated false and misleading information about the investigation and the evidence to the media, painting a false picture of the incident” that resulted in the public no longer believing him, The Hill reported.
Smollett also argued that he should not have to reimburse the city for the extensive investigation into his claims, because he was already mandated to forfeit his $10,000 bail after the criminal case against him was closed, according to FOX News.
The disgraced actor said that the prosecution harmed him “personally,” and he has asked the court to award him punitive and compensatory damages, The Hill reported.