Lawyers for former “Empire” star and alleged hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett filed a motion this week in response to the city’s suit requesting over $130,000 for its investigation into his claim that he was attacked.
Smollett’s lawyers argue that the suit should be dismissed, shifting the blame onto the Chicago Police Department for having chosen to conduct the investigation in the first place.
The Chicago Sun Times reports,
But the latest court filing contends even if Smollett did make a false report, there is no way the city can assert he would have known the city would investigate — and investigate it to the extent cops did.
‘We contend the city is wrong,’ [lawyer William J. Quinlan] said of the city’s assertion that Smollett should have known the police would log nearly 2,000 hours in overtime trying to resolve the case. ‘ ... The mere fact somebody filed a police report doesn’t presume the investigation will be done and certainly not to the extent of what the city is claiming.’
He added: ‘Smollett has no control over that.’
The motion goes on to say that regardless of whether Smollett did lie to police, “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.”
His lawyers add that the city of Chicago “has failed to allege that Mr. Smollett was similarly ‘well aware’ that his statements to police would result in 1,836 hours of police overtime, or any other reasons why he should have known this would have been the case.”
That argument is flawed, as Smollett, as a star of a popular TV show, would have well known that any news of him being attacked would have been all over the media and would have put the Chicago PD under a microscope to do its due diligence and conduct a thorough investigation.
If the city’s case goes to trial, it is expected to begin as soon as June 2020.
“Chicago hopes to recover $130,106 for the investigation it conducted after Smollett made the allegedly false claim that he’d been the victim of a racist and homophobic beating on Jan. 29,” reports the Sun Times.
Smollett in his lawyer’s motion maintains his innocence against claims that he staged a racist and homophobic attack and filed a false police report. His lawyers call him “a victim of a crime.”