- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett received a legal blow this week by a federal judge regarding a $130,000 lawsuit against him by the city of Chicago.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall denied a motion by the actor’s legal team to have the city’s lawsuit, which seeks to recoup costs from the alleged “MAGA country” attack on Jan. 29, dismissed.

The actor, a black LGBT activist, claimed that two men put a noose around his neck in a racist and homophobic attack.

At one point, he faced 16 counts of disorderly conduct after an exhaustive investigation led police to conclude that he staged the incident with two other individuals; Cook County prosecutors abruptly dropped the deal involving community service and a fine.

“The city’s claims and purported damages are a vindictive effort to prosecute charges that the State’s Attorney pursued and then chose to drop,” the filing by the actor’s legal team reads, a local NBC affiliate reported Tuesday.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi rejected the actor’s claims that he shouldn’t be responsible for the investigation’s costs because he could not have foreseen “untold hours of non-overtime police work.”

“Whether it’s Chicago or any other U.S. city, when he reported a vicious hate crime, it was going to be investigated at the highest level of vigor and detail,” Mr. Guglielmi told the station.

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