Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
The City of Chicago confirmed it will still pursue its lawsuit against Jussie Smollett, who was convicted last week on five felony charges stemming from a hate crime hoax in early 2019, in a bid to collect more than $100,000 in costs that were incurred by the Chicago Police Department.
A jury found Smollett, who appeared in “Empire,” guilty on five of six charges during his hate crime hoax trial on Thursday, Dec. 9.
After the guilty verdict was handed down, the City of Chicago confirmed to news outlets on Dec. 10 that it would seek to recoup its losses.
“The City filed a civil lawsuit against Jussie Smollett to recover costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department investigating what the City believed to be Smollett’s false police reports that he was a victim of a hate crime,” the city’s statement, dated Dec. 11, said. “While using a different standard of proof, the jury’s finding of guilt convicting Jussie Smollett of criminal charges stemming from the incident confirms that the City was correct in bringing its civil lawsuit.”
And the “City intends to continue to pursue its lawsuit to hold Smollett accountable for his unlawful actions and to demand that he compensate the City for costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department which took his false claims of harm seriously,” it continued.
The Epoch Times has contacted the City of Chicago for additional comment.
In 2019, the City of Chicago filed a civil action against Smollett, 39, after he refused to reimburse the department for about $130,000 after its two-week investigation into the hoax. Smollett has long said the incident was not fabricated and pleaded not guilty, although two Nigerian brothers who said they partook in the hoax asserted in court earlier this month that Smollett was the mastermind.
Smollett was found guilty of five Class 4 felonies for telling police officers and detectives a series of lies from the hoax that he attempted to blame on supporters of former President Donald Trump. In Illinois, a Class 4 felony carries a maximum prison term of 3 years.
A lawyer for Smollett, Nenye Uche, said the former actor is planning an appeal.
“We feel 100 percent confident that this case will be won on appeal,” Uche told reporters last week. “Unfortunately, that’s not the route we wanted but sometimes that’s the route you have to take to win, especially a case where we remain 100 percent confident in our client’s innocence.”
Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo, the two Nigerian brothers, filed lawsuits against Smollett in 2019 and accused him of defamation.