Federal Judge Throws Out Jussie Smollett's Action Against Chicago Police


A federal judge threw out Jussie Smollett’s malicious prosecution lawsuit against the city of Chicago and several police officers on Wednesday.

Smollett’s attorneys filed the countersuit in November 2019 after the city of Chicago sued him for $130,000 in costs related to its investigation of the former “Empire” actor’s claims that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in January 2019.

The countersuit claimed the city prosecuted him in such a way that caused “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress,” as well as financial harm, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall said that Smollett couldn’t file a malicious prosecution claim until all of the proceedings against him had concluded, Fox News reported.

Smollett was indicted in February on six new counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying to the police about what he claimed happened to him.

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Kendall said that the Chicago Police Department wanted to bring Smollett to justice “for a crime it had probable cause to think he committed.”

In her 15-page opinion, Kendall said that if the new case ended in Smollett’s favor, he could refile his suit. The judge added that it would still likely fail because of the evidence against Smollett, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“While Smollett alleges the statements were unreliable and self-serving, he ignores that there was additional evidence to corroborate the Osundairo Brothers’ statements, including suspicious texts between the parties and the deposit of a large check to Abel shortly before the attack,” Kendall wrote.

In late January 2019, Smollett reported to police that he’d been assaulted by two men during an early morning confrontation in downtown Chicago. The men allegedly splashed Smollett with a chemical and placed a rope around his neck while shouting, “This is MAGA country.”

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Smollett was charged in March 2019 with 16 counts of making a false report — charges that were eventually dismissed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Although State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself from the case, citing a desire to avoid “even the perception of a conflict” due to communication with Smollett’s family, subsequent reports indicated she remained in contact with those who were investigating the allegations to prepare for prosecution.

Chicago police reacted with outrage after charges were dropped, leading to accusations of political motivation by Foxx and her office.

Special prosecutor Dan Webb was brought in last August to review the case, resulting in the February indictments.

“The grand jury’s investigation revealed that Jussie Smollett planned and participated in a staged hate crime attack, and thereafter made numerous false statements to Chicago Police Department officers on multiple occasions, reporting a heinous hate crime that he, in fact, knew had not occurred,” Webb said in a statement, according to WBBM-TV.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in February that Smollett needs to pay for what he has done.

“He needs to face the charges,” Lightfoot said, according to WBBM.

“He committed a crime, and he needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and we are going to continue to aggressively make him accountable for the wasted police resources that went into investigating what turned out to be a total hoax.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith