Jussie Smollett may not be prosecuted for almost definitely staging his own attack on the streets of Chicago a few months ago.
But this doesn't mean the polarizing Empire star is finished with the legal system.
According to TMZ, Smollett will soon be sued by the Windy City itself and may effectively even go on trial for his role in the January 27 "assault."
As you must know by now, this word has been placed in quotation marks because Smollett is accused of staging an assault against... himself.
He claimed several weeks ago that two white men screamed racial and homophobic epithets at him, while also saying he was living in "MAGA country," prior to beating him up and tying a rope around his neck.
The star even alleges that doused him with bleach.
After being the subject of sympathy from basically everyone in America, Smollett quickly turned into the subject of scorn and derision.
Because it started to become clear that he actually concoted this entire story.
Smollett was even arrested and charged with multiple felonies related to falsifying a police report.
The Chicago Police Department subsequently held a press conference in which it trashed the actor for wasting its time and resources.
However, on March 26, Smollett was cleared of all charges.
The city's Mayor still thinks he's very guilty, however, and even the lawyer who chose to set him free has said there's mounting evidence that points to Smollett's guilt... it just didn't seem worthwhile to prosecute him.
While observers remain stunned and confused over the development, Chicago is now trying to hold Smollett at least somewhat liable.
As previously reported, the City of Chicago recently fired off a letter to Jussie's people, demanding $130,000 for the cost of investigating the case.
Smollett scoffed at such a request, but Chicago isn't giving up.
Per TMZ, the city had to wait seven days before filing a civil lawsuit against the actor -- and now that the week is up, it has every intention of moving forward with this action.
Says a spokesperson for the City of Chicago:
"Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019.
"The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett's L.A. based legal team."
Apparently Chicago can ask for up to $390,000 from Smollett, three times what the investigation cost.
In order to win and receive this payout, the City must prove that it's more likely than not that Jussie faked the "attack."
This, in effect, will place Jussie on trial before an administrative law judge. And the burden of proof will NOT be to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Are things about to get ugly in very public fashion again? It sounds that way.
Smollett has “no plans on paying investigative costs being outrageously demanded,” an insider tells Us Weekly.
Instead, the source suggests that “the Chicago Police Department should be investigating the way this matter was mishandled from the beginning.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, though, is pissed. We doubt he's going to let this issue go.
In an earlier statement, he referred to Smollett getting cleared as a "whitewash of justice," wondering what kind of terrible human being exploits actual hate crimes in the manner Smollett allegedly did here.
“When Smollett does pay the city back on just what the taxpayers have fronted, in that memo section [of the check], he can write, ‘I’m sorry and I’m accountable for what I’ve done,'" Emanuel said in a press conference late last month, concluding as follows:
It’s just wrong. … Does he have no decency?