Lawyer warns Chicago not to sue 'Empire' actor

Empire star Taraji P. Henson says that Jussie Smollett will be back on the show in Season 6

Empire star Taraji P. Henson says that Jussie Smollett will be back on the show in Season 6

City officials in Chicago are planning to sue Empire actor Jussie Smollett for $130,106.15 in overtime costs incurred while investigating claims that he was attacked in a hate crime.

After charges were dropped, lawyers for the city of Chicago demanded Smollett pay for the $130,000 investigation into his claims.

But the actor, best known for his role as a gay musician on the Fox Television hip-hop drama "Empire", was charged in February with staging the incident himself and filing a false police report.

Last week, Cook County prosecutors dropped 16 counts of disorderly conduct against Smollett, after he agreed to forfeit his $10,000 bail, and performed 16 hours of community service. On Wednesday, the police chiefs of three Chicago suburban police departments and the head of the police union announced "no confidence" against Foxx. Los Angeles-based Geragos wrote that Smollett "will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum".

The Smollett case and the city's effort to make him pay are both highly unusual, according to several legal experts.

"In light of their apparent vested interest in this case, we are confident that Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent Johnson will not object to providing their testimony under oath", Gergagos wrote.

"That's in court", Emanuel said, "and I'm not focused on it at all, and neither is the city".

Trump tweeted last week that he would tell the FBI to investigate how Smollett's charges were dropped.

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The ongoing saga between Jussie Smollett and the city of Chicago isn't stopping anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Smollett's lawyers continue to demand the city issues a formal apology for "dragging an innocent man's character through the mud".

Smollett has maintained his innocence, and said he was "truthful and consistent" from the start, but prosecutors have said they do not believe he is innocent, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said the actor owes Chicago an apology.

On Thursday, in response to Geragos' letter, the city's legal counsel said they were in the process of drafting a civil complaint that would be filed "in the near future".

Foxx defended the decision by claiming unspecified "aspects of the evidence and testimony ... would have made securing a conviction against Smollett uncertain" and saying she'd rather save prosecutors' resources for "the most serious crimes."

Two local attorneys also have petitioned the chief judge of the Criminal Division, LeRoy Martin, to appoint a special prosecutor to pursue charges against Smollett and investigate the handling of the case by Foxx's office.

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot, in an interview with CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli, is also staying out of the legal scuffle.

"Mr. Smollett's preference remains, however, that this matter be closed and that he be allowed to move on with his life", Geragos said.

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