Chicago police have sent Jussie Smollett a demand letter for just over $130,000, citing costs of the investigation into what the letter characterizes as a false police report about a purported hate attack against him.
TMZ obtained the letter signed sent to Smollett from the Department of Chicago City of Law two days after prosecutors dropped all 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct stemming from a January 29 incident in which the “Empire” actor claimed two men attacked him and tied a noose around his neck.
The prosecution’s stunning decision has angered the mayor and the Chicago Police Department, which is now asking for more than 10 times the $10,000 cash bail that Smollett forfeited when his criminal case was dropped.
According to TMZ, Smollett’s lawyers have refused to pay the six-figure sum, insisting instead that Smollett is owed an apology for what they claim are false accusations — though Chicago prosecutors have not said that Smollett is innocent of the charges, and a police report released shortly after the charges were dropped details substantial, incriminating evidence against Smollett.
TMZ reports that if Smollett does not pay the $130,000, the Mayor’s office is prepared to bring a civil suit against him. The report notes that if the case goes to court, a judge will have to review the evidence to determine if the actor did in fact orchestrate the purported hate crime against himself – with a much lower burden of proof than in criminal court.
And the TMZ report indicates that Smollett would be at a high risk of losing his job on “Empire” if a judge determines that he did in fact stage the attack.
The demand letter states that Smollett has only 7 days to come up with the money:
[Feature image: AP Photo/Paul Beaty]