The City of Chicago Still Wants Its Money Back From Jussie Smollett

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Though felony charges against him were dropped last week, the city of Chicago is going full steam ahead with plans to sue Jussie Smollett for the cost of investigating the alleged hate crime he was said to have staged himself.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel set Thursday as the deadline for Smollett to pay up the $130,000 it’s been tabulated that he owes the city. But as of the end of the day, no check from the actor had materialized.

“Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019,” a city spokesperson told Deadline. “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 L.A. based legal team.”

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As a letter sent to Smollett on March 28 stipulates, Smollett may ultimately be on the hook for more $390,000. The decision to go ahead with the lawsuit is at the behest of Emanuel, who called Smollett’s lack of punishment a “whitewash of justice.”

As of now, things are looking especially rosy for the actor. According to Taraji P. Henson, who plays his mother on Empire, Smollett is expected to return for the show’s sixth season. It’s as though the last few months never even happened!

Night blogger at Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

Once Lori Lightfoot takes office, it will be her prerogative whether to maintain the suit. She was pretty tight lipped about her position on the matter during the election. Now that she’s won, I guess we’ll find out.

The one really interesting thing she said is that she was concerned that Smollett had not released the city or PD for some possible bad thing they did (not sure what that could be under these circumstances), so she may maintain the suit for the sole purpose of extracting a mutual release from Smollett.

For what it’s worth, if the suit were to go forward, I’d put my money on the city (though I guess there’s little accounting for something like jury nullification).