The city of Chicago plans to sue Jussie Smollett for refusing to pay more than $130,000 to cover the costs of the investigation into his alleged attack.
The news came after a repayment deadline set by the city passed Thursday evening without Smollett sending in a check, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019,” a city spokesperson told the Tribune. “The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County.”
In response, Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos fired off a letter saying the actor “will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum.”
“Mr. Smollett vehemently denies making any false statements,” Geragos stated. “Your claim that Smollett filed a false police report and orchestrated his own attack is false and defamatory.”
Smollett, who is African-American and gay, told Chicago police two masked men assaulted him, shouted “this is MAGA country,” and placed a noose around his neck.
Police later said the Empire actor staged the attack, and he was charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. Cook County prosecutors abruptly dismissed the charges against Smollett on March 26.
That same day, the singer and actor told reporters he had been “truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel disagreed. After saying he was blindsided by the decision to drop the case, Emanuel called it a “whitewash of justice.”
Smollett forfeited his $10,000 bond as part of the agreement with prosecutors, but Emanuel said the money wasn’t nearly enough.
Last week the city sent a letter to Smollett’s attorneys demanding he cover the bill for the investigation. The letter, dated March 28, requested a money order or certified cashier’s check for $130,106.15 within seven days.
“Over two dozen detectives and police officers participated in the investigation, ultimately spending weeks investigating your false claims, including a substantial number of overtime hours,” the letter said. “Ultimately, the Chicago police investigation revealed that you knowingly filed a false police report and had in fact orchestrated your own attack.”
The FBI has launched a separate review into the decision to drop the charges against Smollett.