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Former Empire star Jessie Smollett files lawsuit against Chicago for malicious prosecution

Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett is suing Chicago for malicious prosecution and says the city should not seek payment from him to cover the cost of the investigation into his claim that he was a victim of a racist and homophobic attack because it accepted his NZ$15,600 bail “as payment in full”.

Former "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett. Source: Associated Press

Chicago filed a lawsuit in April seeking reimbursement of more than NZ$202,000 for overtime paid to police officers who were involved in investigating the alleged January attack.

Smollett’s attorneys filed a response Tuesday in federal court. It said the city should not be allowed to recover costs from Smollett because it accepted $15,600 from the actor “as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him.”

They also filed a counterclaim, saying Smollett was the victim of a malicious prosecution that caused him humiliation and extreme distress.

Smollett told police that he was beaten January 29 by two men who looped a noose around his neck and threw vile comments at him. Chicago police said the attack was staged, and Smollett was charged with making a false report.

Prosecutors dropped the case in March. Smollett maintained his innocence but agreed to let authorities keep the $15,600 bail.

Chicago’s Law Department issued a statement yesterday saying the city will continue to pursue its efforts to recover the full cost of its investigation.

“The judge in this case has already ruled in our favor once and we fully expect to be successful in defeating these counterclaims,” Bill McCaffrey, Chicago law department spokesman, said in a statement.