Jussie Smollett Sued By Chicago For Alleged Hate Hoax Investigation Costs

Chicago Sues Jussie Smollett to Recoup Cost of Hate Crime Probe

The upcoming battle in civil court promises in many ways to mirror the criminal charges against Smollett that were abruptly dismissed by prosecutors last month.

The lawsuit, filed in Circuit Court, comes after Smollett failed to pony up for the costs of the police investigation by a deadline imposed by the city.

Smollett, who is black and gay, had told police that two men attacked him on January 29, yelling racist and homophobic slurs while striking him, police said.

More than two dozen officers and detectives spent two weeks investigating Smollett's claims, with the police department forced to pay for 1,836 overtime hours, the filing says.

Police initially treated the incident as a hate crime, but their focus turned to Smollett after two brothers who were alleged to have been his attackers told police that Smollett had paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, with a promise of an additional $500 later.

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.

Smollett was allowed to walk free on a "modified plea bargain" that allowed him to avoid trial by serving 16 hours of community service and forfeiting a $10,000 bond. After threatening legal action against Smollett last week, they are moving forward with their lawsuit against the actor.

"At no point did Defendant inform police that he knew his attackers or recognized their appearance or voices", the complaint alleges, going on to reveal that in his appearance on Good Morning America, he claimed to have identified his attackers in a surveillance photo issued by Chicago Police.

The case against Smollett was dropped after a determination by State Attorney Kim Foxx that the "likelihood of securing a conviction was not certain". Smollett refused to pay.

Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court after charges against him were dropped by state prosecutors in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. March 26, 2019.

Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had said they not only were furious with the outcome of the surprise March 26 hearing, but also were blindsided by the decision itself, with the officials learning that Smollett wouldn't face charges for allegedly faking a hate crime at the same time the public found out.

While prosecutors would have had to prove Smollett's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal court, the bar is lower is civil litigation.

It's also unclear if Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot is onboard with the Emanuel administration's determination to keep legal pressure on Smollett.

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