Empire star charged by police
Chicago Police to Bill Actor Jussie Smollett for Cost of Hate Crime Probe
Chicago officials, incensed by prosecutors’ abrupt and largely unexplained decision to drop all charges against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, plan to slap the actor with a “bill” for the cost of the investigation, authorities said Thursday.
“The City of Chicago will be sending Mr. Smollett a bill,” said Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
“From a 30,000-foot view, the bill will include the hours, the overtime, the financial costs and the resources that were used” in probing what the Windy City’s cops, mayor and even prosecutors still believe was a hoax, Guglielmi said.
Officials could not immediately provide an approximate cost or timeline for when the bill will come due.
Smollett’s legal team fired back that it was the Chicago officials who should pony up — a mea culpa to the actor, who has consistently denied that he fabricated the claims.
Smollett, who is black and gay, claimed in January that he was attacked by two masked men shouting racist and homophobic slurs.
Cops eventually concluded that Smollett, 36, had paid two acquaintances to stage the attack to boost his profile, and prosecutors indicted the actor on 16 felony counts. But the case was dropped with little explanation on Tuesday.