Jussie Smollett’s hate crime case has been a rollercoaster ride of sorts. Lawyers for the city of Chicago as well as several officers who are being sued by the actor for “malicious prosecution” are asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed. They are looking for the lawsuit to be tossed because the “Empire” star could still be looking at charges for allegedly faking a hate crime, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Legal counsel for the city filed a 14-page memo on Monday arguing for the dismissal of the case. Smollett’s lawyers filed their own countersuit about a month ago, claiming that the 16-count indictment against their client caused him economic harm, “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress.”
The city spent $130,106 investigating a hate crime against Smollett, which allegedly ended up being a false claim made by the actor. They are now looking to recover those funds.
Following Smollett’s case hitting the fan, the actor filed lawsuits against the city, the Chicago Police Department, detectives Michael Theis and Edward Wodnicki, former CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson and brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo.
The city’s lawyers argued in court on Monday that despite Smollett’s claims, the criminal proceedings were not terminated. In fact, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin appointed attorney Dann Webb to investigate evidence against Smollett, which could result in him issuing the actor new charges.
“Smollett’s criminal proceeding is thus not over — an investigation into his potential crimes is ongoing and criminal charges may well be re-instituted. For this reason alone, Smollett’s malicious prosecution claim fails,” said the city’s lawyers.
Smollett’s series of allegedly questionable events resulted in him being written off of the final two episodes of “Empire”‘s Season 5 back in January, as reported on Eurweb.com. However, despite his potentially looming criminal charges due to his case not being terminated and handed over to a powerhouse attorney to prosecute, Smollett could be eyeing a return to “Empire” before the sixth and final season comes to a close.
Brett Mahoney, the showrunner for the Fox hit series told TV Line that there have been talks of Smollett’s return. “It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this family drama of which he was such a significant part of without seeing him. It’s fair to say it’s being discussed, but there’s no plan as of yet to bring him back. There’s been no decision made,” he said.
“Empire”’s final 10 episodes airs next year. The drama wrapped up its last fall run on Tuesday, TV Line reports.