Smollett's Guilty Verdict Means These Lawsuits Can Now Move Forward

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Posted: Dec 13, 2021 8:00 AM
Smollett's Guilty Verdict Means These Lawsuits Can Now Move Forward

Source: AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File

Last week, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett was found guilty last week on five of six felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police about being the victim of a hate crime. But a fine and possible jail time is not all the actor is facing. The City of Chicago and the Osundairo brothers, who testified that the actor paid them to fake the attack, have had lawsuits on hold pending the outcome of the criminal case. They can now move forward.

According to a July 2019 legal filing, more than two dozen officers spent weeks—and 1,836 overtime hours—investigating the hoax, and they want that $130,106.15 spent in overtime hours back.  

The City said last week’s guilty verdict shows they were “correct” to sue Smollett in 2019 to recover those costs.

“The City intends to continue to pursue its lawsuit to hold Smollett accountable for his unlawful actions and to demand that he compensate the City for costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department which took his false claims of harm seriously,” a statement read.

The Osundairo brothers also filed a lawsuit in 2019.

[T]hey later sued Smollett's attorneys in April 2019, after the initial set of charges were dropped, claiming the case damaged their careers and reputations. 

They claimed in the defamation lawsuit against lawyers Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian that they were maliciously portrayed as liars in the public. […]

A federal judge stayed their lawsuit until the criminal proceedings are completed for Smollett, who has not yet been sentenced. […]

The brothers' legal team is expected to file an update to the court by February 2; their lawyers said in August that 'with regard to settlement, nothing has changed in the Plaintiffs’ position.'  (Daily Mail)

Smollett could face three years in prison though legal experts doubt he will spend time behind bars, but rather will be sentenced to probation and community service.