But the latest court filing contends even if Smollett did make a false report, there is no way the city can assert he would have known the city would investigate — and investigate it to the extent cops did.

“We contend the city is wrong,” Quinlan said of the city’s assertion that Smollett should have known the city would spend nearly 2,000 hours investigating. “ … The mere fact somebody filed a police report doesn’t presume the investigation will be done and certainly not to the extent of what the city is claiming.

“Smollett has no control over that,” Quinlan added.

In the legal brief, obtained by Sneed, Smollett makes clear that he is not admitting he made false statements. “Mr. Smollett disputes any and all assertions that he made a false statement and was not a victim of a crime,” a footnote on the first page of the motion reads.