Chicago filed a lawsuit against Jussie Smollett on Thursday in a bid to recoup the costs of investigating a racist, anti-gay attack that authorities say was orchestrated by the “Empire” actor as a publicity stunt, with the city saying — at minimum — that it now wants triple the amount it initially asked Smollett to pay.
The 12-page civil lawsuit filed in Cook County court, is the latest volley in a legal battle that shows no signs of abating since Smollett reported that masked men beat him up on Jan. 29 in Chicago, shouting slurs and wrapping a rope around his neck.
The suit comes after Smollett refused a demand that he send the city $130,106 to reimburse Chicago for overtime as police sought to verify Smollett’s account.
The lawsuit doesn’t specify an amount of money the city is seeking but does indicate it wants over $390,000 plus “further relief as this Court deems just and equitable.” It also asks that Smollett be ordered to foot any legal bills Chicago incurs in suing him.
More than two dozen officers and detectives spent two weeks investigating Smollett’s claims, with the police department forced to pay for 1,836 overtime hours, the filing says.