The City of Chicago is seeking a $130,000 payment from actor Jussie Smollett to cover the costs of its failed attempt to try him for allegedly lying about suffering a racist assault.
The request for “immediate payment” came in a letter from the Chicago Department of Law to Smollett, a member of the cast of the Fox television series “Empire.”
In January, Smollett, who is Jewish, black and gay, told police that two men yelling “racial and homophobic slurs” attacked him, pouring an “unknown chemical substance” on him and wrapping a rope around his neck.
The following month he was charged with making a false statement in connection with that incident, allegedly to promote his career. But on Tuesday, the Prosecutor’s Office in Chicago announced all charges are being dropped against Smollet. A judge agreed to grant a motion to seal the case and expunge Smollett’s record, according to reports.
Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson criticized the prosecutor’s decision.
“Do I think justice was served? No,” Johnson told reporters at a press conference. “What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is Jewish, is opposed to letting Smollet off the hook, too, the New York Daily News reported.
TMZ quoted unnamed sources close to the mayor’s office saying that they will sue Smollet in civil court unless he pays up.