Jussie Smollett lawyers say city lawsuit seeking payback is ‘perverse tactic’

By Staff | August 9, 2019

Published in the Chicago Sun Times, August 6, 2019

Lawyers for Jussie Smollett asked a federal judge Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit demanding the “Empire” actor pay back more than $130,000 city officials say was spent on the investigation into the alleged hoax crime.

The city of Chicago’s lawsuit was filed under former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, weeks after the Cook County state’s attorney’s office made the controversial decision to dismiss disorderly conduct charges against Smollett for allegedly faking an attack near his Streeterville home in January.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Smollett’s lawyers described the city’s lawsuit as a “perverse tactic,” stressing that Smollett has never admitted any wrongdoing and the prosecutors’ dismissal of the case.

The city’s lawsuit seeks to recover $130,106.15 for the cost of the investigation and the 1,836 hours of manpower expended during the weeks-long investigation that identified two acquaintances of Smollett’s — brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo — who told police they’d been paid to stage the attack.

In the filings, Smollett’s lawyers said the city’s attempt to collect money was “unprecedented.” The city cited the case of an Iowa doctor who claimed to have been mugged on the Riverwalk in 2010, but Smollett’s lawyers noted that the physician had pleaded guilty to making a false report before paying back more than $15,000.

Read the full article at the Chicago Sun Times »