The Jussie Smollett case just got a whole lot weirder, with the “Empire” actor dropping a lawsuit against the city of Chicago.
Smollett’s lawsuit is a counterclaim that was contained in an official answer to the city seeking over $100,000 from the actor to recover funds that went into an investigation into his claims of being attacked.
Smollett is suing Chicago, several police officers and the brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, who came out after Smollett made his claims to say they were hired by the actor — with whom they trained and worked on “Empire” with — to set up the hoax attack. Surveillance footage was also released of the brothers purchasing rope before the event in question.
Smollett claimed in January that he was attacked by two white men. He claimed the men tied a noose around his neck, assaulted him and tried pouring bleach down his throat and reportedly yelled: “this is MAGA country.” Smollett, an outspoken liberal, claimed the attack was political, but police quickly found the story to be false and went after Smollett for filing a false police report. The charge was later dropped by Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx.
The city is still seeking reimbursement from Smollett for the investigation, but the actor is maintaining his innocence despite the overwhelming evidence against him. The actor is now claiming that he was the victim of malicious prosecution that caused him “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress.”
Smollett’s lawyers say the prosecution’s assertion that he was lying about the attack is based on the “false, self-serving, and unreliable statements” from the brothers he allegedly hired to carry out the hoax. The lawyers are also claiming the city cannot go after the actor for reimbursement because the charge against him was dropped. They are even claiming victory saying the charge was dropped “in Mr. Smollett’s favor and in a manner which indicates his innocence because all 16 counts of the criminal indictment were dismissed two and a half weeks after the indictment was filed.”
Smollett already paid the city $10,000 as part of the agreement to drop the case against him, and his lawyers are arguing this reimbursement is more than enough.
The counterclaim was filed late Tuesday after U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall made a ruling that the city’s lawsuit against the actor should not be thrown out.
Smollett seems to want it both ways. Even his counterclaim is confusing in terms of his alleged innocence. If he were fully innocent, wouldn’t he be disputing the $10,000 he already paid to the city? And wouldn’t he be seeking to further clear his name and provide more evidence of the “attack” instead of holding up a dropped charge as his victory?
The actor’s story was questionable from the get-go, and despite the mainstream media going along with it for a period, it did ruin his career. He was dropped from the highly-rated drama “Empire,” which was the television show that put him on the map. One would think at this point he would just move on from his deranged claims, but he seems to just want to keep digging the hole he’s in.
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