According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Smollett filed his claim in federal court targeting not just the city of Chicago, but also multiple police officers and people allegedly involved in his case, claiming a malicious prosecution caused him economic harm, “humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress.”
The 49-page counterclaim was in response to a lawsuit filed by the city against Smollett. It aims to recover $130,106 for the investigation it carried out after Smollett made the allegedly false claim that he was the victim of a homophobic and racist attack in January.
Specific people listed in Smollett’s counterclaim includes Detectives Michael Theis and Edward Wodnicki, Supt. Eddie Johnson, and Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, among other unnamed individuals.
Lawyers for Jussie argue that the police sought to have Smollett prosecuted based on the Osundairo brothers’ “false, self-serving, and unreliable statements in order to close the investigation into the attack on Mr. Smollett.”
They also argue that proceedings against Smollett were terminated “in Mr. Smollett’s favor and in a manner which indicates his innocence because all 16 counts of the criminal indictment were dismissed two and a half weeks after the indictment was filed.”
They go on to say that the city can’t recover costs from Smollett because it already accepted $10,000 from him “as payment in full in connection with the dismissal of the charges against him.”
The counterclaim, which was filed on Tuesday, comes after a decision by U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall not to toss the city’s suit against Smollett. In her ruling, Kendall explained, “The city must prove the truth of these allegations to prevail at summary judgment or trial, at which point Smollett will be free to dispute the city’s claims.”
On Jan. 29, while walking to a subway, Smollett said that two men yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, according to The Hollywood Reporter. They allegedly punched and poured bleach on him while one of the suspects put a rope around his neck. As they fled the scene, Smollett told police they said, “This is MAGA country.”
Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, the Nigerian-American brothers who were allegedly involved in the attack, were also reportedly suing Jussie for defamation because they felt “alienated” in Chicago and couldn’t get work. According to The Chicago Tribune, the lawsuit alleged in part that Smollett’s attorneys “doubled down, not simply affirming that Mr. Smollett was a wholly innocent victim, but that … (the brothers) unequivocally led a criminally homophobic, racist, and violent attack.”
Although the Chicago police believes Smollett’s attack was staged, he has maintained his innocence this whole time.