Reports have circulated for a while that Jussie Smollett would be firing back at the City of Chicago for the scandal that arose from his alleged attack case at the beginning of the year and now it’s official.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, on Wednesday, in response to the ongoing lawsuit filed by the City of Chicago, the ‘Empire’ actor has formally filed a counterclaim which alleges he was the target of malicious prosecution that caused him, “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress.”
The suit is specifically going after Chicago Police Detectives Michael Theis and Edward Wodnicki, Superintendent Eddie Johnson and brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, who claim they were co-conspirators in a hoax conjured up by the actor. The counterclaim comes just days after a district judge permitted Chicago’s lawsuit against the former Empire star to move forward.
Smollett, 37, says he was attacked by white men wearing MAGA hats spewing racial and homophobic slurs. After a police investigation, however, evidence of the attack was virtually non-existent, although Smollett has maintained he was telling the truth. The investigation did however lead to the Osundairo brothers who said Smollett paid them to set up the incident. He was charged with 16 counts of felony disorderly conduct, but prosecutors later dropped all of the charges.
The actor’s legal team is arguing that police upended their client’s life and brought charges against him based solely on the accounts of the Osundairo brothers who made “false, self-serving, and unreliable statements in order to close the investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett,” according to court documents.
The documents also point out that legal proceedings were halted in “Mr. Smollett’s favor and in a manner which indicates his innocence because all 16 counts of the criminal indictment were dismissed two and a half weeks after the indictment was filed.”
In response to this new counterclaim, The Osundairo brothers’ attorney, Gloria Schmidt, told TMZ, “This is just another sad attempt by Jussie Smollett to try and falsely smear the Osundario brothers, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department. There is no legal merit to his claims, and could be sanctionable.”
The City of Chicago is currently trying to recover the $130,000 they say was spent on resources while investigating what they believe to have been a “hoax” attack against Smollett. The actor’s attorneys say the court already accepted $10,000 from him “as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges.”