Smollett should pay the costs and much more. Jussie Smollett has refused to pay more than $130,000 to reimburse Chicago investigative costs and the city said Thursday it will sue the "Empire" actor for the money as reimbursement for investigating what officials say was phony racist, anti-gay attack that Smollett staged. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's law chief sent Smollett a March 28 letter demanding he pay $130,106 — plus 15 cents — within seven days.
The City Law Department said in a Thursday statement that Smollett had refused to pay, adding that it was already drafting a lawsuit in response and would file it "in the near future." Smollett, who is black and gay, maintains he told the truth in reporting to police that two masked men assaulted him in downtown Chicago on Jan. 29, shouting slurs and wrapping a rope around his neck.
There will be no criminal trial on that question after Cook County prosecutors last week dropped all 16 felony counts against Smollett, saying they still believed they could prove the charges but that it wasn't worth the time and expense. The shock decision angered Emanuel and city lawyers sent the demand letter to Smollett just two days later.