Jussie Smollett‘s lawyers continue to say the city of Chicago’s lawsuit against their client is ridiculous, and they want it thrown out of federal court.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Smollett’s lawyer William J. Quinlan has filed a motion saying the former “Empire” actor shouldn’t have to pay any of the $130,000 that police say they spent on their investigation. It’s also the amount he’s being sued for, and police also said they paid their officers 1,836 hours overtime.
Smollett filed a police report on Jan. 29 and said two men attacked him in Chicago while he was walking to a Subway restaurant. He also claimed the men yelled racist and homophobic epithets, poured a liquid substance on him and tied a noose around his neck.
By mid-February, however, the police accused Smollett of making the whole thing up and filing a false report, which he’s consistently denied.
Then on March 7, a grand jury slapped Smollett with a 16-count indictment of disorderly conduct and said he hired the Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo to attack him.
But charges were dropped on March 26 by a top aide of Chicago State Attorney Kim Foxx, a decision blasted by the police and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Last month, however, a special prosecutor was assigned to the case, and based on his findings he could charge Smollett all over again.
In a motion filed early last month, the actor’s lawyers state their client merely filed a police report and had no control over how much authorities spent on their investigation or how much overtime they paid for.
“The filing of a police report, in and of itself, does not necessitate a sprawling investigation, nor does it, as a practical matter, usually result in an investigation as extensive as the one the CPD chose to undertake in this case,” his lawyer claims. “Rather, the filing of a police report enables the police and prosecutors to decide whether and how to investigate.”
Quinlan said his client did nothing wrong and really was attacked as he claimed. And he said it’ll be an uphill battle for the city to prove Smollett owes them anything.
“My client from the beginning has maintained his innocence and disputed the city’s allegations,” Quinlan told The Chicago Sun-Times.
“It’s going to be very difficult for the city to prevail in making a case my client should pay for overtime for a case ultimately dismissed by the state’s attorney,” he added. “It’s ridiculous and a stretch to require him to do so … This lawsuit was only filed by the former mayor … out of frustration for the state’s attorney dismissing the charges.”
In August U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall said she’ll decide in October if the city of Chicago will be allowed to continue with its case against Smollett.