The city of Chicago is not done with Jussie Smollett.
Smollett was convicted last week on five counts of lying to police in connection with his now-debunked claim that he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in January 2019.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb, who meticulously shredded Smollett’s defense during the trial, said Smollett “faked a hate crime and then lied to the police about it and then compounded his crimes by lying to the jury during the course of this trial and insulting their intelligence,” according to Fox News.
Smollett’s attorney has said the former “Empire” actor will appeal the verdict.
If the verdict stands, Smollett faces up to three years in prison, according to Reuters, and his acting career is likely in shreds. But Smollett has even more problems to worry about.
The criminal case is not the last court issue facing Smollett, the city of Chicago said in a statement.
“The City filed a civil lawsuit against Jussie Smollett to recover costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department investigating what the city believed to be Smollett’s false police reports that he was a victim of a hate crime,” the statement said, according to Fox.
“While using a different standard of proof, the jury’s finding of guilt convicting Jussie Smollett of criminal charges stemming from the incident confirms that the City was correct in bringing its civil lawsuit.
“The City intends to continue to pursue its lawsuit to hold Smollett accountable for his unlawful actions and to demand that he compensate the City for costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department which took his false claims of harm seriously,” the statement said.
The $130,000 amount in the lawsuit was calculated by estimating the cost of police time spent on Smollett’s case.
The lawsuit states city police spent 1,836 overtime hours on the Smollett hoax, according to The Associated Press.
A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 16 in U.S. District Court in Chicago, the AP reported.
By lying about being attacked because of his race, Jussie Smollett has spit in the face of actual victims of bigotry. He needs to apologize to the American people and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law to send a strong message to any potential future hoaxers.
— Tulsi Gabbard ? (@TulsiGabbard) December 11, 2021
The suit had initially been filed after Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dropped all charges against Smollett.
After a special prosecutor’s appointment and the filing of new charges against Smollett, the civil case had been put on hold.
The 2019 complaint specifies: “This action is brought by the City to recover civil penalties, statutory treble damages, and attorney’s fees and costs arising from Defendant’s false statements to the City. On January 29, 2019, Defendant submitted a false 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,” it stated.
At the time, Smollett’s attorney, Mark Geragos, sent a defiant letter to the city, stating that his client “will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum” for the overtime hours.
“As you know, Mr. Smollett vehemently denies making any false statements to the City of Chicago,” Geragos wrote then.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.