Los Angeles - Chicago will sue actor Jussie Smollett for the costs of police overtime spent investigating his claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, which prosecutors say were false, a city official said on Thursday.
The lawsuit was being prepared after Smollett, 36, refused a demand by the city for $130 000 (about R1.8 million), said Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city's Department of Law.
"Mr Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019, McCaffrey said. "The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook Country."
Smollett, who is black and gay, touched off a social media fire-storm by telling police on January 29 that two apparent supporters of US President Donald Trump struck him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach over him.
But the actor, best known for his role as a gay musician on the Fox Television hip-hop drama “Empire,” was charged in February with staging the incident himself and filing a false police report.