Jussie Smollett’s malicious prosecution lawsuit against the City of Chicago was dismissed by a federal judge on Wednesday.
According to Deadline, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia M. Kendall ruled that the Empire star’s case against the city cannot move forward. However, she did state that Smollett can refile the lawsuit if he’s found not guilty in his upcoming trial on the original charges of staging a racially charged hate attack on himself for publicity.
The 37-year-old was originally indicted on 16 counts amid the hoax allegations, and was later charged by police with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. However, he walked free from custody in March 2019 after all charges against him were abruptly and mysteriously dropped, sparking controversy and prompting an investigation into how the case was handled. In February this year, a special grand jury indicted Smollett on six counts of disorderly conduct. He has pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile, Chicago officials filed a complaint requesting he pay the $130,000 (£100,000) they claimed it cost to investigate the crime, which they maintain he staged himself.
Smollett has strenuously denied faking the attack, which allegedly took place near his Chicago apartment in January 2019. In his malicious prosecution lawsuit against the City of Chicago, he noted that Abel and Ola Osundairo – the men he accused of attacking him – were held for 47 hours and they adamantly denied any involvement in the assault.
The star claimed it was only after they were assured they’d get immunity that they claimed the attack was faked. He has maintained the primary attacker was a white male.