Actor Jussie Smollett has been hit with a $130,000 lawsuit by the city of Chicago. The Empire star was given 7 days to come up with the cash to cover the city’s costs for investigating his hate crime hoax.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Last month, the city presented Smollett with a demand letter for $130,000 after Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx sparked a public backlash by dropping 16 felony counts against Smollett.
The Chicago Corporation Counsel demanded “immediate payment” of $130,000 in compensation for overtime paid to two dozen police officers and detectives who worked on Smollett’s case.
Smollett’s defiant attorney Mark Geragos fired back at at the CCC, saying the actor “will not be intimidated into paying the demand sum.”
In a letter obtained by The Tribune, Geragos said Smollett “Vehemently denies making any false statements.” Geragos called the accusations “inflammatory,” and he said if the city filed a lawsuit he would file a countersuit and depose Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson under oath.
Smollett told police he was assaulted by two Trump supporters who beat him, poured a caustic liquid on him and tied a noose around his neck outside his Chicago condo in January.
The actor, who is biracial and openly homosexual, said the attackers hurled racial and anti-homosexual slurs at him.
Investigators later determined that Smollett staged the hoax with two brothers to boost his celebrity profile on the Empire soap opera. Abel and Ola Osundairo later confessed to their roles in the hoax.
After Foxx dropped all charges, Chicago’s police union called for Foxx to step down. President Trump asked the Justice Department to launch an investigation into possible corruption in the state’s attorney’s office.