Chicago sues actor Jussie Smollett for police costs

Actor Jussie Smollett makes a court appearance at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. (Reuters pic)

NEW MEXICO: The city of Chicago filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Jussie Smollett, saying the actor owes it over US$130,000 for police costs incurred in the investigation of a
hate crime that authorities allege was phoney, according to legal documents.

The lawsuit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court over two weeks after prosecutors in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dismissed all criminal charges against the “Empire”

Chicago officials previously said they would sue Smollett after he refused a demand by the city for US$130,000 to cover police overtime costs.

The actor’s criminal defence attorney, Mark Geragos, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Smollett, 36, who is black and gay, ignited a firestorm on social media by telling police on Jan 29 that two apparent supporters of President Donald Trump struck him, put a noose
around his neck and poured bleach over him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs on a Chicago street.

After weeks of investigation, Chicago police determined that Smollett cooked up the scheme – in which they allege he hired two brothers to pose as his attackers – because he was dissatisfied with his salary on “Empire.”

Smollett, best known for his role on the Twentieth Century Fox Television hip-hop drama, has said he has always been truthful about the incident. He was charged in February with staging the incident and filing a false police report.