Jussie Smollett, the embattled former Empire actor who had criminal charges dropped against him earlier this year for allegedly staging a crime against himself, is now suing the city of Chicago for malicious prosecution. Per the Chicago Sun-Times, Smollett is claiming that the city, as well as multiple police officers, caused him substantial “economic harm, humiliation, mental anguish, and extreme emotional distress” in the weeks following the alleged racist and homophobic attack against him. The suit, which is a counterclaim (the city is currently suing Smollett for $130,000 worth of court costs and police overtime fees), also alleges that the testimonies of the Osundairo brothers, key witnesses in the case, were “false, self-serving, and unreliable statements in order to close the investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett.”
Smollett’s counterclaim comes months after the Cook County state attorney’s office (which represents Chicago) dropped all criminal charges against him. The state attorney who oversaw Smollett’s case said that she chose to drop it due to the actor already serving an adequate amount of community service. “Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify on January 29th,” his attorneys said in a statement at the time. “He was 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 judgement.” However, in the months since, an Illinois judge has approved the appointment of a special prosecutor to reexamine the case and determine if the initial investigation was “compromised, impeded or undermined” by the actions of the state’s attorney’s office.