The City of Chicago has no plans to back down from its lawsuit to recover the cost of investigating what authorities say was a fake “attack” against Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
The star was indicted on charges of making a series of false reports to the Chicago Police Department following a hate-crime attack last year (19).
According to TMZ, officials from the City of Chicago could drop its case against Jussie to recover nearly half a million dollars, because if he’s convicted in criminal court the judge would almost certainly order restitution on behalf of the City.
However, they added it’s unlikely, as the standard of proof in a criminal case is harder to meet than in a civil case, and Smollett is likely to plead the fifth against self-incrimination in the civil lawsuit because of the looming criminal case.
In Illinois, if a defendant takes the fifth in a civil case, the judge can tell the jury it can conclude that person is hiding something.
City officials told TMZ, “the City stands by our original complaint seeking to recover costs for Mr. Smollett’s false statements.”
Abel and Ola Osundairo, the two brothers who Jussie says attacked him, will also testify that the whole thing was a setup masterminded by the actor.
Smollett is now due in court on 24 February (20), according to local news channel Fox32.