Jussie Smollett maintains he was the victim of a racial and homophobic attack in January and he’s alleging malicious prosecution.
The former Empire star filed a counterclaim Tuesday in federal court against the city of Chicago, the Osundairo brothers and multiple police officers, including Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Smollett says the narrative cops pushed that the attack was a hoax caused him economic harm, “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress.” The legal move is a response to Chicago’s lawsuit which seeks to recoup over $130,000 of investigative costs. In October, a judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit against Smollett.
The Chicago Sun-Times obtained the 49-page document filed by Smollett’s legal team. His lawyers claim police wanted the actor prosecuted based on the Osundairo brothers’ “false, self-serving, and unreliable statements in order to close the investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett.”
Smollett’s attorneys also argue the city cannot recover costs from the actor because it already accepted $10,000 from him “as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him.” They note proceedings against Smollett were terminated “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.”
Earlier this year, Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts related to making a false police report. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office abruptly dropped all charges weeks later, a move that stunned Chicago P.D. In June, a Chicago judge ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the controversial decision.
Smollett said he was assaulted by two men who poured a bleach-like substance on him, put a noose around his neck, shouted homophobic slurs and yelled “This is MAGA country.” While he has stayed mostly out of the spotlight in recent months, the actor resurfaced on social media to defend himself over the supposed staged attack.
“With all due respect brother, y’all can clown me all you want but my story has actually never changed and I haven’t lied about a thing,” he wrote while replying to a comment on The Shade Room. “Y’all can continue to be misinformed, internalized sheep, who believe what actual proven liars feed you or you can read the actual docs. Either way, I’mma be alright. I know me and what happened. You don’t. So carry on. All love.”