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Jussie Smollett Files Suit against City of Chicago for ‘Malicious Prosecution’

Actor Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 14, 2019. (Kamil Krzaczynski/Reuters)

Jussie Smollett filed a countersuit on Tuesday in response to a lawsuit brought by the city of Chicago, alleging the city engaged in “malicious prosecution” that caused the actor “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress,” the Chicago Sun Times reported Monday.

Smollett was alleged to have staged a racist, homophobic crime against himself in January with the help of two friends, who themselves are brothers of Nigerian origin.

A grand jury indicted Smollett in March, but Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges against the actor, citing the technically victimless nature of the hoax and his record of service to the community.

The city of Chicago had filed a lawsuit against Smollett attempting to recover $130,106 from the Empire actor after investigating the staged crime. Smollett’s lawyers assert in the counterclaim that because he has already paid $10,000 to the city “as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him” he should be exempt from any further penalties.

The counterclaim also alleges the two brothers made “false, self-serving, and unreliable statements” that the police nevertheless used “in order to close the investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett.”

Foxx, who is running for reelection, admitted in a campaign video on Tuesday that she mishandled Smollett’s case. In June the state appointed a special prosecutor to look into her actions regarding the case.

After Foxx dropped charges against Smollett, an anonymous prosecutor in her office slammed her handling of the affair.

“This case was handled markedly different from any other case at 26th Street,” the prosecutor wrote. “No one knows why, and more importantly, no one can explain why our boss, the head prosecutor of all of Cook County, has decided to so demean and debase both our hard work, and our already tenuous relationship with the Chicago Police Department.”

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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