Jussie Smollett’s legal woes are far from over.
On Friday, the director of public affairs for the City of Chicago confirmed to Fox News that it intends to continue pursuing its lawsuit against the fallen actor.
On Thursday, the former “Empire” star was found guilty on 5 out of 6 charges at his hate crime hoax trial.
“The City filed a civil lawsuit against Jussie Smollett to recover costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department investigating what the City believed to be Smollett’s false police reports that he was a victim of a hate crime,” read the statement. “While using a different standard of proof, the jury’s finding of guilt convicting Jussie Smollett of criminal charges stemming from the incident confirms that the City was correct in bringing its civil lawsuit.”
In this courtroom sketch, actor Jussie Smollett stands in a Leighton Criminal Courthouse courtroom Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Chicago, as a jury finds him guilty on five of six charges he staged a racist, anti-gay attack on himself and lied to police about it. (AP Photo/Cheryl Cook)
“The City intends to continue to pursue its lawsuit to hold Smollett accountable for his unlawful actions and to demand that he compensate the City for costs incurred by the Chicago Police Department which took his false claims of harm seriously,” the statement added.
After a contentious week of witness testimony, counsel arguments and deliberation, the jury found the 39-year-old guilty on the first five counts, and he was acquitted on a sixth count of lying to a detective weeks after Smollett said he was attacked.
Smollett was charged with six counts of disorderly conduct related to false statements to Chicago police officers about a 2019 hate crime against him. In 2019, he claimed that two men attacked him due to his skin color and sexual orientation.
He was found guilty of telling a police officer he was a hate crime victim, telling an officer he was a battery victim, telling a detective he was a hate crime victim, telling a detective he was a battery victim and then telling a detective again he was battery victim. He was not found guilty on a sixth charge of telling a second detective he was an aggravated battery victim.
Former ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building as the jury begins deliberation during his trial on December 8, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. ( Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Count 1 accused him of telling responding Chicago Police Officer Muhammed Baig at around 2:45 a.m., some 45 minutes after the purported attack, that he was the victim of a hate crime. He said two attackers put a rope around his neck. Count 2 referred to Smollett telling the same officer he was a victim of a battery, describing attackers beating and pouring bleach on him.
Counts 3 and 4 stemmed from Smollett making the same claims but to a different officer, Kimberly Murray, later that morning, just before 6 a.m.
Count 5 accused Smollett of again telling Murray at around 7:15 p.m. that he was the victim of a battery. Count 6 referred to Smollett reporting on Feb. 14, 2019, to detective Robert Graves that he’d been a victim of an aggravated battery.
Following the guilty verdict, special prosecutor Dan Webb addressed the media and told reporters that his message to the jury was that Smollett “faked a hate crime and then lied to the police about it and then compounded his crimes by lying to the jury during the course of this trial and insulting their intelligence.”
Brothers Olabinjo Osundairo, right, and Abimbola Osundairo, appear outside the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, Feb. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
“With the resounding verdict we just received from this jury after one day of deliberations in which they found Mr. Smollett guilty on virtually all charges of doing exactly what we said he did – reporting a fake crime to the Chicago Police Department as a real crime. That verdict was a resounding message by the jury that, in fact, Mr. Smollett did exactly what we said he did.”
Webb also delved into the man-hours that he believes went into investigating Smollett’s hoax attack, telling media members that “26 Chicago police officers spent 3000 hours of time, costing the city well over $100,000 for a fake crime that never occurred.”
Added the prosecutor: “And, by the way, a fake crime that denigrates what a real hate crime is. And to use these meanings and symbols that are so abhorrent in our society it’s clear why the police would take it seriously. And they did.”
Since being accused of staging the attack, Smollett has maintained his innocence and said during his two-day testimony that “there was no hate crime hoax from my standpoint.”
The report made headlines around the world and prompted a massive manhunt in Chicago, with roughly two dozen police joining the investigation. It also drew criticism from Trump, who called the police department’s handling of the case “an absolute embarrassment to our country.” (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP | AP Photo/Cheryl Cook)
Prosecutors, however, argued that Smollett carried out a “dry run” of the attack the day before it occurred in 2019.
Smollett’s attorney, Nenye Uche, said on Thursday following the conclusion of the trial that Smollett would be appealing the actor’s guilty verdicts.
He said Smollett’s team is confident “he’s going to be cleared of all, all accusations on all charges. The verdict is inconsistent,” he said. “You can’t say Jussie is lying and say Jussie is not lying for the same exact incident.”
Fox News’ Julius Young, Nate Day, Matt Finn, Ruth Ravve, as well as The Associated Press contributed to this report.