Judge Dismisses Jussie Smollett’s Malicious Prosecution Claim

A federal judge dismissed actor Jussie Smollett’s lawsuit alleging malicious prosecution by the city of Chicago, saying he will have to wait until all proceedings against him are over to raise a case.

Smollett filed the lawsuit against the city and several police officers after the Chicago Police Department dropped its investigation into a report he filed, where he claimed he was the victim of a homophobic attack in January 2019. The police had accused him of staging the incident to boost his career.

According to the lawsuit, Smollet claimed to have sustained “substantial economic damages as well as reputational harm, humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress,” for which Smollett’s attorneys sought compensatory and punitive damages, Reuters reported.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall dismissed Smollett’s claims, Wednesday, arguing that Smollett “cannot bring a state malicious claim until proceedings against him have been terminated,” the agency reported.

Kendall referred to the new charges brought against him by Special Prosecutor Dan Webb earlier this year. Smollett was charged a second time in February 2020 on 6 counts of disorderly conduct.

Actor Jussie Smollett (C)
Actor Jussie Smollett, center, departs after an initial court appearance at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, in Chicago, on Feb. 24, 2020. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo)

On Feb. 24, former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to restored charges that accuse him of staging an attack against himself last year in Chicago, and falsely reporting to police that the attack was real.

Smollett has repeatedly denied police allegations that he staged the attack to get attention and further his career.

Smollett, who is black and gay, told police that two masked men attacked him as he was walking home in the early hours of Jan. 29, 2019. He said they made racist and homophobic insults, beat him, and looped a noose around his neck before fleeing, and that at least one of his attackers was a white man who told him he was in “MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Weeks later, police alleged that Smollett had paid two black friends to help stage the attack because he was unhappy with his salary as an actor on “Empire,” a Fox series filmed in Chicago that follows a black family as they navigate the ups and downs of the recording industry.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.