Jussie Smollett is not in the clear just yet.
Days after the 36-year-old actor was cleared of 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct, he's now facing a new lawsuit that could put his Empire job at risk.
According to TMZ, the City of Chicago is "demanding" Jussie pay $130K for the overtime required to investigate his now-infamous "attack." A city official reportedly sent Jussie a letter asking for the funds, however, his team rejected their request, saying he's the "only person owed anything" meaning "an apology from the Mayor and Police Superintendent," the gossip site reports.
A source connected to the Mayor also told TMZ, "they will absolutely file a civil case to get the money." Adding, "under the law, the City can actually collect three times the actual amount owed as a penalty," which is around $390,000.
If Jussie decides not to pay and instead chooses to fight it out in a courtroom, a judge will first have to decide if Jussie faked the attack before deciding whether Jussie is required to pay. Now here's where things get interesting. Since this is a civil suit, the judge will only have to rule that it's more likely than not — 51/49 percent — that Jussie faked the attack compared to the beyond a reasonable doubt conviction needed for a criminal case. And if the judge does rule that the attack was fake, it puts Jussie's job at risk, giving executives cause for firing him.
Earlier this week Jussie's attorney, Patricia Holmes, released a statement, condemning Chicago authorities who "have continued their campaign against Jussie Smollett after the charges against him have been dropped."
"The case is closed," she wrote in a statement shared by TMZ. "No public official has the right to violate Mr. Smollett's due process rights." Holmes added that Smollett is allowed the same rights as every citizen — he "is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law."
"We respectfully request all government agencies involved live up to the ethical tenets of their office [...] The case was dismissed," she continued. "We should all allow Mr. Smollett to move on with his life as a free citizen."
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