Chicago Sues Jussie Smollett Over Attack Investigation Costs

Lawsuit says that more than $130,00 in police overtime costs were incurred due to “Empire” actor’s report

Jussie Smollett
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Point Foundation

The City of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against actor Jussie Smollett, in which the city seeks to recoup the costs of an investigation regarding an assault reported by the “Empire” star earlier this year.

According to court papers obtained by TheWrap, the suit, filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court, says that more than $130,000 in overtime costs were incurred as a result of the investigation.

“On January 29, 2019, Defendant submitted a false police report claiming that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic beating by unknown attackers. In reality, Defendant knew his attackers and orchestrated the purported attack himself,” the suit reads. “Later, when police confronted him with evidence about his attackers, he still refused to disclose his involvement in planning the attack. In investigating Defendant’s false statements and false police report, the City incurred significant costs in order to provide services reasonably related to Defendant’s conduct.”

“The Law Department has filed a civil complaint against Mr. Smollett in the Circuit Court of Cook County that pursues the full measure of damages allowed under the false statements ordinance,” the City of Chicago said in a statement obtained by TheWrap. “This follows his refusal to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019.”

Smollett told police that he was attacked by two men in a racist, homophobic attack in January. However, authorities came to question Smollett’s account, and the actor was charged with 16 felony counts after he was accused of filing a false report. Those charges were later dropped, a decision that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called a “whitewash of justice.”

Smollett has maintained his innocence in the matter.

Smollett’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.