Despite his many powerful friends in both the political world and Hollywood, things really aren’t going well for Jussie Smollett. After initially being exposed as an obvious hate crime hoaxer and having the charges against him dropped by his friends in high places, Smollett actually had the nerve to attempt to sue the city of Chicago and members of the police department for malicious prosecution, seeking to have his legal fees refunded to him along with other supposed “damages.” That case has been dragging out for quite a while now, but this week it ran into a brick wall. A federal judge has thrown out the lawsuit… at least for now. (Associated Press)
A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed actor Jussie Smollett’s malicious prosecution lawsuit against the city of Chicago and several police officers…
In April 2019, the city sued Smollett seeking reimbursement of more than $130,000 paid in overtime to police officers who were involved in investigating the alleged racist and homophobic attack on Smollett, who is black and gay.
Smollett countersued in November, saying the city couldn’t recover costs because it accepted $10,000 from Smollett “as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him.” The lawsuit said Smollett had been the victim of a malicious prosecution that caused him humiliation and extreme distress.
Judge Virginia Kendall hasn’t closed the door entirely on Smollett’s claims but instead ruled that malicious prosecution couldn’t be proven until all of the charges against him had been resolved. While this may seem like a technicality, it most likely means that the entire basis for the actor’s lawsuit has been crippled if not entirely shot down.
The special prosecutor assigned to handle Smollett’s case brought six charges against him in February, all related to filing false police reports and lying to investigators as they looked into his claims of being the victim of a hate crime. Assuming he’s found guilty on those charges, the basis for malicious prosecution evaporates.
I probably shouldn’t be so surprised that Smollett would have the audacity to try to bring that lawsuit. He clearly felt that the system was rigged in his favor and his celebrity status and powerful connections would shield him from any legal danger. And, at least initially, it looked like he was right. It was only after a national spotlight was turned on the case that the legal system in the Windy City was prompted to do the right thing and move against him.
At this point, all of the evidence that the Chicago PD obtained against him will be back in play. The two brothers that Smollett hired to help him perpetrate the hoax have both turned against him as part of a deal to keep themselves out of jail. I’ve long since foregone using the word “alleged” when talking about Smollett’s hoax because it’s so glaringly obvious that he’s guilty. The ten thousand dollars he returned to the city of Chicago doesn’t even scratch the surface of the reparations he should be paying. The police burned through more than $100,000 in overtime as they rushed to find the supposed perpetrators of the claimed “hate crime” against this celebrity, only to discover that he was actually the guilty party in the story.
We have no idea how much longer this is going to drag out, but the people of Chicago can at least take some small amount of solace from this ruling. If the courts had actually agreed that Smollet was the “victim” here and needed to receive a payday for his actions, there would have been little reason for the city’s residents to have faith in their court system.