**FILE** Actor Jussie Smollett leaves Leighton Criminal Courthouse after his court appearance in Chicago on March 14, 2019. Smollett stands accused of arranging a homophobic, racist attack against himself in an attempt to raise his profile because he was dissatisfied with his salary on the Fox television drama "Empire." (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
**FILE** Actor Jussie Smollett leaves Leighton Criminal Courthouse after his court appearance in Chicago on March 14, 2019. Smollett stands accused of arranging a homophobic, racist attack against himself in an attempt to raise his profile because he was dissatisfied with his salary on the Fox television drama "Empire." (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

The city of Chicago has sued actor Jussie Smollett for the cost of investigating his controversial case, following his refusal to reimburse the city.

The city’s law department said Thursday in a statement that it filed a civil complaint against Smollett, 36, in the Circuit Court of Cook County “that pursues the full measure of damages allowed under the false statements ordinance.”

“This follows his refusal to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019,” the statement said.

While the lawsuit doesn’t include a specific monetary figure, it suggests the amount the city will seek from Smollett could be three times higher than the $130,000 originally sought.

Smollett, who is Black and gay, says two masked men attacked him in the early hours of Jan. 29 while yelling homophobic slurs and “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make America great again” campaign slogan.

City officials ultimately determined that the “Empire” actor staged the assault and charged him with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false report, but all the charges were dropped late last month.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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