Officials from the City of Chicago have no plans to back down from a lawsuit seeking to recover the cost of investigating an allegedly fake attack against Jussie Smollett.
On Tuesday, the Empire actor was indicted on charges of making a series of false reports to the Chicago Police Department following an incident last year. He has denied the allegations.
According to editors at TMZ, officials from the City of Chicago could drop their case against Jussie to recover at least $130,000 (£100,000), because if he’s convicted in criminal court, the judge would almost certainly order restitution on behalf of the City.
However, they added it’s unlikely, as the standard of proof in a criminal case is harder to meet than in a civil case, and Smollett is likely to plead the fifth against self-incrimination in the civil lawsuit because of the looming criminal case.
In Illinois, if a defendant takes the fifth in a civil case, the judge can tell the jury it can conclude that the person is hiding something.
City leaders told TMZ, “the City stands by our original complaint seeking to recover costs for Mr. Smollett’s false statements.”
Abel and Ola Osundairo, the two brothers who Jussie claims attacked him, will also testify that the whole scenario was a setup masterminded by the 37-year-old.
Smollett is next due in court on 24 February, according to local news channel Fox32.
– Cover Media3