Jussie Smollett has been slapped with a lawsuit for refusing to reimburse the city of Chicago over $130,000 for investigating his attack, which the police department says was a hoax.
“This action is brought by the city to recover civil penalties, statutory treble damages, and attorney’s fees and costs arising from Defendants false statements to the City,” states the lawsuit filed on April 11.
“In investigating Defendant’s false statements and false police report, the City incurred significant costs in order to provide services reasonable related to Defendant’s conduct,” the suit goes on to say.
Smollett told officers he was assaulted on Jan. 29 by two masked men as they shouted racist and homophobic slurs.
The Empire actor, who is African-American and gay, claimed the attackers wrapped a noose around his neck, doused him with a chemical and shouted “this is MAGA country.”
Police later arrested brothers Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo in connection with the case. The two reportedly told investigators Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack.
The Hollywood star was then charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing the false police report.
But in a surprise move on March 26, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office dropped the charges. In exchange, Smollett agreed to forfeit the $10,000 that he paid in bond money.
Still, outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that amount wasn’t nearly enough and called for the actor to pay up. The city gave Smollett until April 4 to hand over $130,106 or face a lawsuit. A week later, city officials filed a 12-page civil suit against the actor.
The lawsuit is also asking for $1,000 “for each false statement he made to the city.”
Smollett’s attorneys have not commented on the filing.