Jussie Smollett files malicious prosecution claim against Chicago

Actor has maintained his innocence after claims his homophobic attack was staged and blames authorities for ‘emotional distress’

Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett has filed a counterclaim against the city of Chicago for a malicious prosecution that caused “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress”.

Smollett believes his $10,000 payment after the close of a criminal case should prevent Chicago from seeking reimbursement for a police investigation of his claim that he was a victim of a racist and homophobic attack.

His attorneys filed a response on Tuesday to Chicago’s lawsuit in federal court. The counterclaim is also aimed at several Chicago police department officers, and brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo.

According to documents, Smollett’s legal team claim that the police department “obtained false, self-serving and unreliable statements” from the Osundairo brothers. It goes on to say that investigators ignored “evidence that contradicted those statements played a significant role in the commencement of proceedings”.

Smollett told police he was beaten in January by two men who looped a noose around his neck. Chicago police said it was staged, and Smollett was charged with making a false report.

But prosecutors in March dropped the case. Smollett maintains his innocence but agreed to let authorities keep a $10,000 bail. The city of Chicago is seeking $130,000 from Smollett to recoup the cost of the police investigation.

Guardian staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 counts over alleged false police report
Chicago grand jury returns felony indictment after Empire actor said he was victim of hate crime

Guardian staff and agencies

08, Mar, 2019 @11:13 PM

Article image
Jussie Smollett cut from Empire after being charged with staging attack
Fox network calls allegations ‘very disturbing’ and confirms Smollett will be suspended from the final two episodes of the current season

Guardian staff and agencies

22, Feb, 2019 @4:01 PM

Article image
Jussie Smollett: Chicago mayor attacks 'whitewash of justice' as charges dropped
Decision to suddenly drop 16 charges questioned as Smollett insists: ‘I have been truthful on every single level’

Erin Durkin in New York

27, Mar, 2019 @3:09 AM

Article image
‘Overwhelming’ evidence against Jussie Smollett, says prosecution in closing arguments
The Empire actor denies he falsified police reports about the alleged racist and homophobic attack in 2019

Maya Yang

08, Dec, 2021 @10:07 PM

Article image
Jussie Smollett attorneys dismiss reports of involvement in own 'attack'
Actor and singer alleges racist and homophobic assault motivated by his criticism of Donald Trump

Guardian staff and agencies

17, Feb, 2019 @6:25 PM

Article image
'You are loved': Jussie Smollett attack leads to outpouring of support
Kamala Harris and Viola Davis have spoken out as Chicago police investigate attack on the Empire actor as a possible hate crime

Erin Durkin in New York

30, Jan, 2019 @3:00 PM

Article image
Jussie Smollett charged: actor accused of filing false report in alleged attack
Smollett has said two masked men abused him with racist and homophobic slurs before beating him up

Guardian staff and agencies

21, Feb, 2019 @1:59 AM

Article image
Trevor Noah on Jussie Smollett: 'Nobody won in this thing'
Late-night hosts process Jussie Smollett’s arrest for allegedly staging a hate crime and review Trump’s obstructions of justice

Adrian Horton

22, Feb, 2019 @5:40 PM

Article image
Jussie Smollett: why were the charges dropped and what happens next?
The Empire actor’s case file has been sealed after 16 criminal charges against him were dropped, raising a series of questions

Adam Gabbatt in New York

27, Mar, 2019 @4:46 PM

Article image
Jussie Smollett: Trump says FBI and justice department will review case
President tweets: ‘It is an embarrassment to our Nation!’ after Chicago prosecutors dropped charges against Empire actor

Guardian staff and agencies

28, Mar, 2019 @2:29 PM