Jussie Smollett: Chicago to sue Empire actor over ‘racist attack’ | Ents & Arts News

Jussie Smollett is to be sued by the city of Chicago over the costs of investigating an alleged racist and homophobic assault on the star.

The Empire actor, who is openly gay, told police he had been the victim of an attack in January, but was later charged with staging the crime.

Charges against Smollett were dropped during a last-minute court appearance last month, to the anger of Chicago’s mayor and police chief.

Despite the case being dropped, prosecutors still said that they believed the attack was staged and ordered the star to pay $130,000 (£99,500) to cover the cost of the investigation.

The deadline for payment has now passed and Chicago plans to sue, the city’s law department said.

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The unusual case has attracted a lot of media attention

A statement added: “Mr Smollett has refused to reimburse the city Of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on 29 January 2019.

“The law department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court Of Cook County. Once it is filed, the law department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr Smollett’s LA-based legal team.”

The lawsuit will be filed “in the near future” and the city will “pursue the full measure of damages allowed”, the statement added.

Prosecutors believe Smollett, 36, hired two brothers to stage the attack – hoping that the attention would help advance his career.

Police also allege that, before the attack, Smollett sent a letter threatening himself to the Chicago television studio where Empire is filmed.



The case against Empire star Jussie Smollett has been dropped.



‘I have always been truthful’

Smollett maintains his innocence and insists the attack took place.

After the charges were dropped, he said he had been “truthful and consistent on every single level since day one” and that “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of”.

The actor’s future on musical drama Empire remains in doubt after he was written out of the end of season five, which is on air in the US now.


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