Jussie Smollett says the city of Chicago has no right to recoup the $130,000 it spent on a probe of his hate-crime report because the actor had no control over the “sprawling” resources expended.
In a new motion seeking dismissal of the city’s lawsuit, the “Empire” star stood by his claim he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in January and argued he never could have predicted police would burn through 1,836 hours of overtime on the case.
“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 (Chicago officials) chose to undertake in this case,” the paperwork submitted Tuesday by defense lawyer William J. Quinlan said.
The paperwork filed in federal court in Chicago said a complainant’s police report simply “enables” police and prosecutors to decide on their own "whether and how to investigate.”
“Investigations are a discretionary function of police departments,” it argued.
Investigators later identified bodybuilding brothers Olabingo “Ola” Osundairo and Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo as the assailants caught on surveillance video near the scene.
One of the brothers was an extra on “Empire,” and together the siblings reportedly told investigators Smollett paid them to stage the attack.
Smollett was eventually indicted by a grand jury on 16 counts of disorderly conduct, but Chicago prosecutors made the bombshell announcement March 26 that they were dropping all charges in exchange for community service and the forfeiture of Smollett’s $10,000 bond payment.
“This has been an incredibly difficult time, honestly one of the worst of my entire life, but I am a man of faith and I’m a man that has knowledge of my history, and I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this,” he said.
Timeline of Jussie Smollett's alleged fake assault on himself
The Chicago Police Department quickly pledged its cooperation with the new probe.
“We stand firmly behind the work of the detectives in investigating the fabricated incident reported by Jussie Smollett & #ChicagoPolice will fully cooperate with the court appointed special prosecutor,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement posted on Twitter.