Smollett's attorney's filed a response Tuesday to Chicago's lawsuit in Federal court that seeks the reimbursement of $130,000 it says the Chicago Police Department spent investigating the actor's January 22 claim that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack.
Smollett told police he was beaten in January by two men who looped a noose around his neck while walking in his Streeterville neighborhood. Following a lengthy investigation, the actor was accused of staging the attack himself with the help of brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundario. Smollett was charged on February 20, with making a false report and he subsequently made a $10,000 bail payment to secure his release from jail.
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In March, the Cook County State's Attorney's office unexpectedly dropped the charges against Smollett. While still proclaiming his innocence, Smollett agreed to let the City keep the bail money. Now, in the counterclaim, his attorneys say that payment prevents the City from collecting any additional damages.
"The City has waived any right to recover further costs for services provided by the City in investigating and responding to Mr. Smollett's police report because it has already accepted $10,000 from Mr. Smollett. Having agreed to accept $10,000 from Mr. Smollett in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him, the City has waive its right to seek additional recovery."
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The counterclaim goes on to accuse the City and CPD of ignoring key evidence that proved Jussie Smollett's claim of an attack. It accuses Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson of maliciously going after Smollett without probable cause. "In the face of mounting public pressure to solve the high-profile attack on Mr. Smollett, Counterclaim-Defendant Johnson authorized the CPD...to file a complaint against Mr. Smollett on the basis of false and unreliable evidence from the Osundario Brothers."
The counterclaim is finalized with a demand for a trial by jury, along with compensatory and punitive damages against the City. "As a proximate result of the wrongful conduct engaged in by Counterclaim defendants, Mr. Smollett has suffered and continues to suffer substantial economic damages as well as reputational harm, humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress in the amount according to proof at trial." The filing also claims the prosecution against the "Empire" actor was "malicious."
A special prosecutor continues to investigate why the Cook County State's Attorney's office abruptly decided to drop all charges against Jussie Smollett.
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