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Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood
Far from over? While Chicago prosecutors have dropped all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett, a federal case may be filed against him, according to a source.
As first revealed on the “Hot Hollywood” podcast Opens a New Window. , the Empire Opens a New Window. star “is aware that federal charges are being investigated against him.”
“Jussie is being scrutinized because he is unwilling to testify against the brothers in the state’s case because he just wants to put this behind him,” the source adds, noting that Smollett’s lawyers don’t want the actor to “be questioned by the feds.”
Us Weekly confirmed on March 26 that prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois, dropped all 16 felony charges against Smollett, 36, after he was arrested for allegedly staging his racist and homophobic attack and filing a false police report. Prior to Smollett’s arrest, brothers Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo were booked in connection with the reported attack, but were subsequently released without being charged.
Smollett, who maintained his innocence thought the investigation, spoke out last month after the charges were dropped against him.
“I want to thank my family, my friends, the incredible people of Chicago, and all over the country and the world who have prayed for me, who have supported me, who have shown me so much love,” he began during the March 26 press conference. “No one will ever know how much that’s meant to me and I will be forever grateful.”
He added: “But make no mistake, I will always continue to fight for the justice, equality, and betterment of marginalized people everywhere. Again, thank you for all the support, thank you for faith, and thank you to God. Bless you all. Thank you very much.”
Chicago’s department of law, meanwhile, is “drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the circuit court of Cook County,” according to a statement. “The law department will file the suit in the near future,” Bill McCaffrey from the department told Us. “As part of this legal action, the law department will pursue the full measure of damages allowed under the ordinance.”
According to an insider, however, the Mighty Ducks actor has “no plans” to reimburse the city of Chicago for the investigation costs.
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