Attorneys for the actor Jussie Smollett reportedly filed a motion Wednesday asserting that he should not have to pay $130,000 to the city of Chicago because he didn’t know how much time and money police would spend investigating his claims of a racist and homophobic attack.
The former “Empire” star alleged in January that two men shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him, beat him and placed a noose around his neck in downtown Chicago. He later told authorities that the two alleged assailants also shouted the pro-Trump phrase, “This is MAGA country!”
The Chicago Police Department (CPD) says he staged the attack and wants him to pay for its investigation.
The new motion stands by Smollett’s version that the attack was genuine but says police did not have to put in 1,836 hours of overtime and other resources to investigate the crime, according to The Associated Press.
The motion states that the “filing of a police report, in and of itself, does not necessitate a sprawling investigation nor does it, as a practical matter, usually result in an investigation as extensive as the one the CPD chose to undertake in this case.”
Smollett and the city are involved in an ongoing legal battle since the alleged attack. Charges of disorderly conduct against the actor were filed and then dropped, a decision that infuriated Chicago authorities including then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
“Do I think justice was served? No,” Johnson said after prosecutors decided to drop the charges. “I think this city is still owed an apology.”
Last month, a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the decision to drop the charges against Smollett.