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Jussie Smollett sues Chicago, claims malicious prosecution over alleged beating

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Jussie Smollett has filed a lawsuit accusing Chicago of maliciously prosecuting him after concluding that the actor’s claim to have been the victim of a racist and homophobic beating on a city street was a hoax.

Smollett, 37, best known for his work on the Fox television drama “Empire,” made his accusation in counterclaims filed on Wednesday, after Chicago sued him to recoup $130,106 in police overtime costs to investigate the beating claim.

He accused the city, police and others of causing “substantial economic damages as well as reputational harm, humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress,” and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

“The city stands by its original complaint and will continue to pursue this litigation,” Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for Chicago’s law department, said by email.

“We fully expect to be successful in defeating these counterclaims.”

Smollett, who is black and gay, ignited a social media firestorm after telling the police on Jan. 29 that two masked men had thrown a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him and shouted racial and homophobic slurs while expressing support for U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Illinois prosecutors charged Smollett on Feb. 20 with making up the attack, including by hiring two brothers to stage it, and falsely reporting “high-profile hate crime” to draw publicity after becoming dissatisfied with his “Empire” salary.

But they dropped the criminal case on March 26, drawing anger from Chicago’s police department and then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who called it a “whitewash of justice.”

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Smollett pleaded not guilty to lying about the attack and has long said he was truthful about it.

Chicago nonetheless sought triple damages in its April 11 civil lawsuit to recoup overtime costs.

Smollett played singer-songwriter Jamal Lyon on “Empire” but was dropped from the show after the alleged attack.

The counterclaims were filed against Chicago, the brothers and a number of police officers and employees.

Smollett accused police of trying to prosecute him based on the brothers’ “false, self-serving and unreliable statements in order to close the investigation into the attack.”

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He also said Chicago could not recover investigative costs because it already accepted his $10,000 “payment in full” in connection with the dismissal of the criminal case.

Without ruling on the merits, U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall on Oct. 22 refused to dismiss Chicago’s civil lawsuit against Smollett, saying his high profile and “the extreme nature of the accusations” could explain the overtime costs.

The case is Chicago v. Smollett, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 19-04547.

Reuters

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Jada Smith denies August Alsina claims that Will Smith gave his “Blessing” for their relationship

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While August Alsina claims he was in a years-long relationship with Jada Pinkett Smith while she was married to Will Smith, the actress has issued a denial.

After Alsina spoke publicly about allegedly being romantically involved with the actress, including the claim that her longtime husband gave Alsina his “blessing,” Jada’s reps have called the claims “absolutely not true,” He reached out for comment. A rep for Will did not respond.

The headline-making allegations surfaced this week in an interview between Alsina and Angela Yee, published on YouTube. During the sit-down, the topic of the 27-year-old singer’s “Nunya” track came up along with the rumors that he had dated Smith.

“Here’s what I’ll say,” Alsina began in response. “People can have whatever ideas that they like, but what I’m not ok with is my character being in question when certain things are questions that I know its not me or that I know I haven’t done.” 

He continued, “Contrary to what some people believe, I’m not a troublemaker. I don’t like drama. The drama actually makes me nauseous…I also don’t think that it’s ever-important for people to know what I do, who I sleep with, who I date.”

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However, the performer clarified, “In this instance, it’s very different because as I said, there are so many people that are side-eyeing me, looking at my questions about it. I’ve lost money, friendships, relationships behind it and I think it’s because people don’t necessarily know the truth, but I’ve never done anything wrong. I love those people.”

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Seemingly referring to Jada and Will, he added, “I don’t have a bad thing to say about them. They are beautiful people.”

The singer said he didn’t have a choice but to express his truth after his life and wellness were being affected.

“I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation due to the transformation from their marriage to life partnership that they’ve spoken on several times and it not involving romanticism,” he alleged.

“He gave me his blessing and I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life and I truly and really, really deeply loved and have a ton of love for her. I devoted myself to it.

I gave my full self to it so much so to the point that I can die right now and be ok with knowing that I truly gave myself to somebody.”

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If you know who killed my brother, please come forward, I beg you – BBN’s Khafi cries out

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BBNaija star Khafi Kareem has been left devastated after her younger brother Alexander Kareem was killed in a London shooting on Monday, June 8.

The Sun UK reported that Alexander, 20, was shot close to his family house in Shepherd’s Bush, West London. He was said to have been walking back home from a convenience store when he was shot by a yet-to-be-identified person in the early hours of Monday.

Witnesses say he screamed out “help me” as he lay dying in the street at 12.40 am. Passers-by tried to give him CPR before paramedics reached the scene but Alexander was pronounced dead a short time after.

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According to the post-mortem Alexander died from gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen.

UK Police are appealing for information about a white Range Rover driven by his killers which was found burned out three miles away from the scene of the shooting. Det Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley said:

“We are determined to bring those responsible for this unnecessary and terrifying violence to justice. We continue to appeal for witnesses who may have seen or heard what happened to come forward. The white Range Rover seen in the area and later found burned out is also a key part of the investigation.”

When Alexander turned 20 in March, Khafi wrote on her Instagram page:

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“I thank God for your life and do not take you for granted!! I love you very much and I’m so proud of everything you are doing for yourself. You are a go-getter and I pray God blesses every step forward you are making.”

Khafi Kareem, who is also a policewoman in London, yesterday posted a black picture on her page to mourn him. Her Instagram page is now private, as at the time of this report.

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Mourners left tributes and dozens of colorful bouquets near the scene of the shooting.

A Met Police spokesman told The Sun that, “Officers from the Specialist Crime Command are investigating and are keeping an open mind as to the motive behind the attack. At this stage, there have been no arrests but inquiries are continuing.”

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Mercy Aigbe stuns in new photos as she welcomes fans into the new month

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Nollywood actress, Mercy Aigbe has taken to social media to drop it like it’s hot for her fans on the 1st of July, 2020.

The 42-year-old mum of two kick-started the new month in grand style as she rocked a blue wig with a lovely slit thigh-high dress to complete her look.

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See photos below;

Mercy Aigbe dropped the lovely pictures and captioned it “Welcome to July my lovelies 💋 May the lord continue to keep us safe and May we never embark on a journey of no return.”

Her latest style once again is proof that she has a high sense of fashion and continue to look younger than her age.

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Mercy Aigbe was married to Lanre Gentry in 2013 after which they went their separate ways. She had her two Children with Lanre.

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