Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor who was at the center of a high-profile scandal over his alleged staging of an attack he characterized as a hate crime, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago alleging malicious prosecution, according to media reports.
Smollett’s legal action is a countersuit after he was sued by the city, which is seeking to recoup the costs of the investigation into his case.
TMZ reports that Smollett claims officials created the narrative portraying him as the mastermind of a hoax.
“In the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Smollett notes the Osundairo brothers were held for 47 hours and they adamantly denied any involvement in the assault,” TMZ reports. “He says it was only after they were assured they’d get immunity that they started spinning the tale of a fake attack on the streets of Chicago.”
Smollett reportedly insists that the main attacker was a white male.
“He says to this day he doesn’t know what involvement, if any, the Osundairo brothers had in the attack. He thinks the brothers were lured into the smear campaign by cops,” TMZ reports. “Jussie is suing the City, the Osundairo brothers and several officials, including Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.”
The report quotes Gloria Schmidt, the attorney for the Osundairo brothers, saying in response to the lawsuit: “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 attorney added: “The brothers were open and honest with the Chicago Police Department, testified under oath in front of a grand jury, and stand ready to do so again, in open court, if and when called upon to do so.”