UPDATED 4/5, 3:50 p.m. ET: Attorney Mark Geragos released a three-page statement saying Jussie Smollett “will not be intimidated” into paying the city of Chicago $130,000, a demand characterized as “both factually and legally flawed.” Dated April 4, the statement tells the city it is “apparent that your threats were made maliciously and in bad faith, and without an honest belief that a cause of action against Mr. Smollett exists.”
UPDATED 4/4, 7:12 p.m. ET: The city of Chicago is planning on suing Jussie Smollett after the actor refused to pay for the investigation of the Jan. 29 hate crime he reported, TMZ reports.
"Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019," a spokesperson for the City said, per TMZ. "The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett's L.A. based legal team."
TMZ adds that the city will be able to sue for three times the amount they previously asked, pushing the total number up to $390,000.
See original story below.
He was indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly staging a hate crime against himself in January. Upon the dismissal of charges leveled against him, Smollett forfeit a $10,000 bond payment. As Associated Press reports, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's law chief sent a letter to Smollett demanding he reimburse the city for the funds they used to investigate his case, totaling to $130,106.15.
The deadline for that payment is today (Thursday, April 4), but it did not state if the deadline is at midnight or earlier. If he fails to reimburse them, it's likely the city of Chicago will file a lawsuit against Smollett. The city of Chicago has previously brought up Smollett footing a portion of the bill for officers and detectives who worked overtime to investigate his case. His lawyers, meanwhile, state it's the city "who owe" Smollett "an apology," adding that he has already "paid enough."
Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot will be sworn in as Chicago's mayor on May 20, meaning she could reverse any legal action Emanuel would take against Smollett in the near future.
In a recent appearance on The View, Smollett's Empire co-star Taraji P. Henson indicated that the actor would be returning to the show when it's back from its hiatus. "I talk to Jussie all the time. And he’s doing well," she explained. "We’re all doing well. The show is doing well. We’re on hiatus right now. The writers are trying to figure out what the next season is going to look like, what our storyline is going to be. They’re trying to drum up some really good juicy stuff for you guys."