Jussie Smollett wants police overtime lawsuit switched to federal court

Jussie Smollett wants Chicago officials’ lawsuit, seeking repayment of police overtime, moved from state court to federal court.

The former Empire actor, who is openly gay, alleged he was punched in the face, and had an “unknown chemical substance” poured on him and a rope wrapped around his neck in a racist and homophobic attack in January.

However, Chicago Police Department and city officials maintain Jussie orchestrated the incident and are trying to recoup $130,000 (£103,000) spent on police overtime. Prosecutors dismissed charges against Smollett related to making a false report in March.

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A motion filed by the 37-year-old’s legal team on Wednesday and released by his representatives to the Associated Press argues the case should be moved to federal court as the actor, who lived in Chicago while filming the Fox network drama, is actually a California resident.

Police allege two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, were paid by Jussie to pose as the attackers, a charge which they admitted to after they were arrested two weeks later.

The star was indicted on 16 counts after it was alleged he had staged a hate attack on himself for publicity, and he was later charged by police with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. However, he walked free from custody on 26 March after all charges against him were dropped.

Both Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city’s police chief declared they were sure the actor was guilty, and he lost his role on Empire, with the show’s creator, Lee Daniels, confirming the actor would not be part of the show’s sixth and final season.

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