Not backing down. Jussie Smollett does not intend to reimburse the city of Chicago for the expenses incurred during the investigation into his alleged attack, a source close to the actor reveals exclusively to Us Weekly.
The Empire star, 36, has “no plans on paying investigative costs being outrageously demanded,” the insider tells Us. Instead, the source suggests that “the Chicago Police Department should be investigating the way this matter was mishandled from the beginning.”
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered Smollett to pay more than $130,000 to the city by Thursday, April 4. The move came after prosecutors dropped all 16 charges against the singer.
“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. The law department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the circuit court of Cook County,” Bill McCaffrey from the city of Chicago’s department of law told Us in a statement on Thursday. “Once it is filed, the law department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s Los Angeles-based legal team.”
He added: “The law department will file the suit in the near future. As part of this legal action, the law department will pursue the full measure of damages allowed under the ordinance.”
According to a source, “Jussie looks forward to defending himself against this frivolous action, if it is indeed filed.” The insider also noted that “it’s not surprising they want to continue with the media circus. The FBI should be investigating why charges were even filed against Jussie to begin with.”
Emanuel said during a March 28 press conference, “When [he] does pay the city back on just what the taxpayers have fronted, in that memo section [of the check], he can write, ‘I’m sorry and I’m accountable for what I’ve done.’”
The politician previously called the outcome “a whitewash of justice,” adding: “It’s just wrong. … Does he have no decency?”
Smollett, for his part, insisted that he has been “truthful and consistent on every single level since day one” following the reversal. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused of,” he said on March 26.
The Alien: Covenant actor has repeatedly denied that he staged the alleged racist and homophobic attack that allegedly took place in January. He agreed to forfeit his bond in exchange for the dropped counts.
Us confirmed last month that “there is an active federal investigation” into how he “received an unusually favorable plea deal.” According to an insider, “Basically, there is a probe to decide whether or not foul play was involved in his bargain with prosecutors.”
Smollett’s lawyers previously referred to their client as “a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgment.”
Us has reached out to Smollett’s attorneys for comment.
With reporting by Jennifer Heger