Jussie Smollett may have won the battle, but has he won the war?
The ‘Empire’ actor made headlines again this week when the “hoax attack” case against him dramatically collapsed, resulting in the dropping of all 16 federal charges placed on him.
In an emotional press conference, the 36-year-old asserted “I have been truthful and consistent on every level from day one.”
Chicago authorities, however, disagree and seem adamant on bringing him to what they feel is justice.
Following the Chi-Town Mayor Rahm Emanuel branding the situation a “whitewash of justice,” the City sent a formal demand letter to Smollett’s team – requesting $130,000.
For what, one may be wondering?
Well, they say that covers the overtime spent investigating what they still believe to be a fake attack staged by the actor himself.
In response, Smollett’s team slammed the demand and asserted that it is he that is owed an apology from many – including the Police department and the Mayor.
Here’s where things get a little complicated.
TMZ report that sources close to the Mayor’s office are adamant about filing a civil case to collect the sum should Smollett not comply; a route, which if explored, could see them able to make claim to three times that amount ($390,000).
Unlike a criminal trial, where the burden of proof would have to be particularly substantial (and reasonable doubt can make or break a case), a civil proceeding requires much less. For, it ultimately boils down to a judge establishing whether he/she feels Smollett lied or not in relation to whether the money is owed.
As it stands, the star has 7 days to make payment. If he doesn’t, triggers a civil case and somehow ends up losing, any non-payment could result in his assets being frozen and/or his ‘Empire’ wages being garnished.
The latter of which adds even more pressure on the FOX show in the wake of an Illinois state rep proposing a bill to cut the 30% tax credit received by ‘Empire’ (which is taped in the city) if it keeps Smollett on its payroll.
Smollett continues to maintain his innocence.