Jussie Smollett Countersues City of Chicago for ‘Extreme Emotional Distress’

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Nov 21, 2019

Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who made national headlines earlier this year following an alleged racist and homophobic attack, is now suing the city of Chicago and others, the Chicago Sun-Times reported yesterday (November 20). 

It’s a countersuit to the one filed by the city in April that sought $130,106 in reimbursement for the investigation of Smollett’s claims. The initial lawsuit came after Cook County dropped all 16 charges against the actor and said that it would seal the case. Smollett’s suit names several defendants: the city, the Chicago Police Department (CPD), detectives Michael Theis and Edward Wodnicki, CPD superintendent Eddie Johnson, and brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Smollet’s lawyers said that the 16-count indictment caused Smollett “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress,” even as he “voluntarily provided his DNA sample and fingerprints” to FBI agents in March. In addition, the attorneys said Smollet’s passport “still has not been returned to him to this day.”

Smollet’s lawyers also argued that Chicago should have no claims to cost recovery after taking $10,000 from the actor “as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him.” The case is scheduled to continue in court on February 18.