The City Of Chicago Is Now Suing Jussie Smollett For $180K

Jussie Smollett  ABC

Last month, Cook County prosecutors dropped all 16 felony counts against Smollett, saying they believed they could prove the charges but that it wasn't worth the time and expense. After threatening legal action against Smollett last week, they are moving forward with their lawsuit against the actor. The letter went on to say that if the amount was not paid within seven days, the city might prosecute Smollett "for making a false statement" or "pursue any other legal remedy available at law". The suit claimed that Smollett - who allegedly became friends with Abel Osundairo in 2017, per the docs - texted Abel in late January: "Might need your help on the low".

Smollett, 36, who is black and gay, ignited a firestorm on social media by telling police on January 29 that two apparent supporters of President Donald Trump struck him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach over him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs on a Chicago street.

Last week, Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx doubled down on her office's decision to dismiss charges against Smollett.

Once the criminal case against Smollett was dropped, he served two days of community service and forfeited the $10,000 he posted to bond out of jail. The move outraged city officials and police.

The complaint says Smollett "knowingly made numerous false statements of material fact" and is asking for a civil penalty of $1000 for each of those statements.

"It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe apology - for dragging an innocent man's character through the mud", their statement said.

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Geragos accused Emanuel of "acting literally unhinged" in his criticism of Smollett, saying the investigation was fatally flawed and was dropped because it was "going to become embarrassing".

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson held a news conference on March 26 to protest the dropping of charges against Smollett.

"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.

Evidence sealed in the criminal case could be unsealed in the civil case and be presented at trial.

Bill McCaffrey, the city's Law Department spokesman, has said the city has "a lengthy and successful track record" of suing to recover funds under a statute that makes people liable for costs incurred by the city to provide services related to their violation of the law.

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