The mystery surrounding Jussie Smollett’s alleged assault in January 2019 continues to get more bizarre. Nearly 10 months after the incident, the actor isn’t backing down from his claims that two men in ski masks verbally and physically attacked him on a street in Chicago.
Jussie told police at the time that the perpetrators called him racial and homophobic slurs before throwing an unknown liquid at him and placing a noose around his neck. Less than a month later, the investigation took a 180-degree turn when law enforcement accused the 37-year-old of staging the hate crime.
On Nov. 20, it was revealed that the former Empire star is still actively fighting to clear his name in what has become a very public battle with the Chicago P.D.
Jussie Smollett files a lawsuit against the City of Chicago, citing "malicious prosecution."
The singer’s counterclaim is a direct response to the city’s ongoing lawsuit against the entertainer, which seeks over $130,000 to cover the cost of the police investigation into his alleged hoax.
According to TMZ, Jussie is suing the City of Chicago, his supposed accomplices, brothers Bola and Ola Osundairo, and several officials — including Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson — for causing "humiliation, mental anguish, and extreme emotional distress" after he was indicted on 16 felony counts related to the case.
The charges were dropped two-and-a-half weeks later and Jussie’s lawyers argue that the city should not be allowed to recover costs from their client given that he already forfeited his $10,000 bond "as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him."
An attorney for the Osundairo brothers told TMZ of the lawsuit, "This is just another sad attempt by Jussie Smollett to try and falsely smear the Osundairo brothers, the City of Chicago, and the Chicago Police Department. There is no legal merit to his claims…"
Jussie’s filing comes one month after a federal judge refused to dismiss the City of Chicago’s lawsuit against the openly gay songwriter.
Is Jussie Smollett returning to Empire?
The California native, who played Jamal Lyon on the series, will not appear in Empire’s sixth and final season, which began airing on Sept. 24.
In response to a June tweet from Variety claiming that the show’s writers were preparing to bring Jussie back, the musical drama's creator Lee Daniels wrote, "This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire."
Lee previously showed his loyalty to the cast member in an April interview with Extra. "I think that what I'm learning right now is that I can't judge. I can only support him because he is like my son, he is my son, and so I'm with him," the director expressed. "So I can only support him and I can only give him compassion."
Jussie’s former co-star Taraji P. Henson also referred to him as "family" while walking the Emmys red carpet in September. "There’s no way we can throw five years of family away. So we miss him," she admitted, before adding that her character, Cookie, "certainly misses him. He was her favorite…"
Unlike Empire, it feels like Jussie’s legal troubles are never-ending.