Published: Sat, April 06, 2019
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Smollett’s lawyer warns Chicago not to sue ‘Empire’ actor

Smollett’s lawyer warns Chicago not to sue ‘Empire’ actor

If Chicago sues, he said, he would demand the public release of the entire police investigative file on the case and would depose Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Chief Eddie Johnson.

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

Geragos also wrote that he would demand depositions from Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo and Olabinjo "Ola" Osundairo, the two brothers who alleged to police that Smollett gave them money to fake the January 29 attack, as well as their attorneys.

"Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019", said spokesman Bill McCaffrey in a statement. Smollett was initially indicted on 16 counts of filing a false police report, but the charges were dropped suddenly last week.

IL prosecutor Joe Magats has tried to explain the dropping of charges by saying the decision was made after Smollett agreed to both community service and forfeiting his $10,000 bond payment.

In a footnote to the letter, Geragos attempts to argue that Smollett's initial claims to police were consistent with the department's ultimate conclusions. "The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook Country".

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He continued, "In light of their apparent vested interest in the matter, we are confident that Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent Johnson will not object to providing their testimony under oath".

Jussie Smollett admitted no wrongdoing, but he did agree to do some community service before charges were dropped. "As explained below, your letter is both factually and legally flawed and Mr. Smollett will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum", he said. But the deadline expired on Thursday evening without Smollett making a payment. The Law Department will file the suit in the near future.

"I have about 10,000 issues", she said. Foxx recused herself from the case about a week before Smollett was charged.

A judge has sealed the court file at the request of Smollett's attorneys, and has said he will announce next month his decision on whether to unseal the file at the request of several media organizations, including The Associated Press. While a criminal trial requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction, a civil trial would require the city to prove only that a "preponderance of evidence" - meaning it's more likely true than not - that the incident was a hoax orchestrated by Smollett.

Meanwhile, Chicago's mayor-elect, Lori Lightfoot, who has not been sworn in yet, vows to get to the bottom of the controversial case. "Mr. Smollett's preference remains, however, that this matter be closed and he be allowed to move on with his life".

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