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Chicago Files Lawsuit Against Jussie Smollett

City wants him to pay police overtime costs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2019 3:05 AM CDT
Actor Jussie Smollett looks on during a press conference before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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(Newser) – The city of Chicago has made good on its promise to sue Jussie Smollett for the cost of investigating the attack it says he staged. In a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court on Thursday, city lawyers say they are seeking "the full measure of damages allowed under the false statements ordinance" following the Empire actor's refusal to reimburse the city for the cost of police overtime "investigating his false police report" on Jan. 29. Police say Smollett hired two brothers to stage a hate-crime attack on him. Prosecutors dropped 16 charges against the actor last month but the case files are expected to surface in the civil trial, where there is a lower burden of proof, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

It's not clear what sum the city is seeking in damages, though it is likely to be higher than the $130,000 it earlier demanded from Smollett, Fox reports. Court filings outline how Smollett allegedly staged the attack, starting with a text to friend Abel Osundairo reading: "Might need your help on the low. You around to meet up and talk face to face?" Later that day, the complaint states, Smollett told Osundairo "he was unhappy with the way his employers handled a racist and homophobic letter he had allegedly received three days earlier, and, as a result, he wanted to stage an attack where Abel would appear to batter him." The complaint states that Smollett directed Osundairo and his brother to fake an attack in which they would "not hurt him too badly" and would give him a "chance to appear to fight back."

(Read more Jussie Smollett stories.)

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