For better or for worse, former Empire star Jussie Smollett is keeping his alleged assault alive, taking the legal battle as far as he possibly can while continuing to profess his innocence. On Tuesday, the actor filed a malicious prosecution counterclaim in federal court against the city of Chicago, which names multiple Chicago Police Department officers, including Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Also named in the suit are brothers Abimbola Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo, the two brothers who claim Smollett had hired them to stage his own alleged hate crime.
According to Jussie Smollett's legal team, the actor is seeking damages as he has suffered "substantial economic damages as well as reputational harm, humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress." The suit also claims the police had no probable cause to prosecute Smollett, and charging him with a crime was in violation of his constitutional and legal rights. Per the document, the assertion from Smollett's lawyers is that the police knowingly used the "false, self-serving, and unreliable statements" from the Osundairos about their part in the alleged attack just to close their investigation as quickly as possible without a proper investigation.
This unfortunate series of events first began in January of this year when the Empire actor was attacked by two strangers outside of his apartment building. He claimed the men used racial and homophobic slurs during the assault, purporting it to be a hate crime. Smollett also said the men put a noose around his neck and threw a bleach-like substance on him before he managed to fight them off. Soon after, police managed to identify the two assailants as the two Nigerian brothers who worked with Smollett on Empire, immediately poking some huge holes in the actor's story. As more details from the case became apparent, the scandal led to Smollett's complete removal from the final season of Empire.
Based on the evidence against him, Jussie Smollett was charged by a grand jury with a class 4 felony for filing a false police report. A few weeks later, all of the charges against Smollett were dropped when the actor agreed to a plea deal to forfeit his $10,000 bond and perform 16 hours of community service. Looking to be repaid for the overtime officers were paid to investigate the claims made by Smollett, the city of Chicago then filed a lawsuit against the actor to the tune of $130,106.15. Additionally, the Osundairo brothers filed their own suit against Smollett's legal team for defamation. Even so, Smollett continuing this fight shows he's willing to duke it out in the court of law until the very end, and we shouldn't count on him confessing to making the whole thing up anytime soon.
After this legal battle comes to its eventual end, chances are the Empire star will have some difficulty finding work in the future. One theorized motivation for Smollett allegedly lying about his assault is that he was looking to bring more attention to himself as an actor. If true, the plan worked, but probably not in the way he would have been expecting it to. Hopefully he's been saving up his Empire money. This news comes to us from The Wrap.