Jussie Smollett Saga Takes Yet Another Turn

Former 'Empire' actor files counterclaim against city of Chicago
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2019 2:20 PM CST
Jussie Smollett Saga Takes Yet Another Turn
In this March 26, 2019, file photo, actor Jussie Smollett talks to the media before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)

The latest in the Jussie Smollett legal saga: The former Empire actor has countersued Chicago after the city sued him in April in an attempt to recoup the cost of the police investigation into what authorities say was a hoax attack staged by the actor in January. Smollett had already made his feelings on the matter clear; his lawyer filed a petition in September to have the city's suit dismissed, alleging it was the city's fault, not Smollett's, that it spent an estimated $130,106 on police overtime related to the probe. That's how much the city wants to be reimbursed by Smollett, but in his response, Smollett says Chicago cannot recover any further costs from him since it already accepted his $10,000 bail money, per the Hollywood Reporter.

Smollett's lawyers say in the filing, per the Chicago Sun-Times, that the $10,000 was accepted "as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him." A judge ruled against Smollett last month in his bid to have the city's lawsuit thrown out, per the Chicago Tribune. She wrote in her ruling that "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." In the counterclaim he filed against the city, Smollett also alleges the city's "malicious prosecution" subjected him to financial harm, "humiliation, mental anguish, and extreme emotional distress." (More Jussie Smollett stories.)

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