According to reports, as part of the suit filed by Chicago, Smollett and the city filed a joint status report, where his lawyers stated the actor could sue based on how he was treated by police after their investigation.
“Defendant contemplates filing an action against the City of Chicago and/or its agents for their conduct underlying the arrest and their conduct thereafter including constitutional claims and state law claims,” the report states. “Defendant reserves the right to bring such claims at the appropriate time provided by law.”
Plus, the reports states Smollett and the city have “engaged in settlement discussions, but those discussions are not ongoing.” And that June 2020 is the earliest they’d be prepared for a trial, which is estimated to last a maximum of three days.
The City of Chicago is suing the 37-year-old for the costs related to their investigation.
On January 29 of this year, Smollett told police that he was attacked by two men near his home in Chicago, who yelled racial and homophobic epithets at him because he’s black and gay.
At first, he was treated like a victim, and Chicago police launched an investigation to find the perpetrators. But they later accused Smollett of hiring two brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, and staging the attack himself. They later arrested Smollett in February.
“On January 29, 2019, Defendant submitted a false police report claiming that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic beating by unknown attackers,” it stated in the city’s lawsuit.
“In reality, Defendant knew his attackers and orchestrated the purported attack himself. Later, when police confronted him with evidence about his attackers, he still refused to disclose his involvement in planning the attack,” the document read.
Smollett, who was let go from his job at “Empire” after the arrest, denied any wrongdoing and said he was being completely truthful.
In the joint status report, his lawyers point to the fact that his 16-count indictment was dropped in March by Cook County prosecutors, which makes the city’s lawsuit seem vindictive.
“Appears to be an unprecedented effort to seek penalties and resources expended in connection with allegedly false statements made to the police where the related criminal case concerning the statements was dismissed nolle pros on all counts.”