The city of Chicago sent a bill to Jussie Smollett’s legal team requesting payment of $130,000 to cover the cost of the investigation into Smollett’s claim that he was a victim of an apparent hate crime, according to media reports.
The response from lawyers for Smollett, according to Fox News, was to demand an apology from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
Fox News quotes a statement from the Smollett team saying: “It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie — owe him an apology — for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud. Jussie has paid enough.”
The report adds: “According to the city law department, the city of Chicago is seeking ‘immediate payment’ of the $130,000 ‘expended on overtime hours in the investigation of this matter,’ adding that if the amount is not paid within 7 days the ‘Department of Law may prosecute’ Smollett ‘for making a false statement to the City’ or ‘pursue any other legal remedy available at law.'”
The maneuvers come after prosecutors dropped all criminal charges against Smollett this week, drawing an angry response from both Emanuel and Johnson.
“The mayor stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his city’s police force Tuesday afternoon, denouncing prosecutors for dropping charges against the ‘Empire’ star and slamming the episode as a ‘whitewash of justice,'” Fox News reports. “Johnson and Emanuel had said they were not only furious with the outcome of Tuesday’s surprise hearing but also blindsided by the decision itself, with the officials only learning Smollett wouldn’t face charges for allegedly faking a hate crime at the same time the public found out.”
Donald Trump sounded off about the case in a tweet early this morning, saying the FBI and the Department of Justice will review the case. You can see his tweet below.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Emanuel was less than enthusiastic about Trump’s involvement in the Chicago matter.
“Emanuel on Thursday also said Donald Trump should stay out of the matter after the president tweeted that he would tell federal authorities to investigate why the charges were dropped,” THR reports.
THR quotes Emanuel saying: “The fact is, you’re a guy — I take umbrage that you have a person sitting in the Oval Office who drew a moral equivalency in Virginia between those who were fighting bigotry and those who were perpetuating bigotry.”
THR notes that Emanuel was referring to Trump’s “very fine people on both sides” reaction to the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.