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Status Hearing Set for Civil Lawsuit Against Jussie Smollett

Tuesday Aug 20, 2019
"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, stands before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Steven Watkins where he pled not guilty at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, in Chicago.
"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, stands before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Steven Watkins where he pled not guilty at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, in Chicago.  (Source:E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via AP)

A hearing is set in the city of Chicago's effort to recover costs from actor Jussie Smollett after police said his claims of a racist and anti-gay attack were phony and staged.

The status hearing Tuesday is the first since the lawsuit was moved to federal court from state court in July.

The city sued in April after a prosecutor's surprise decision to drop criminal charges against Smollett, who was accused of making a false report. Chicago wants Smollett to pay $130,000 to cover police overtime, among other expenses.

Attorneys for the former "Empire" actor say assertions that Smollett concocted the incident are defamatory. They're asking U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall to throw out the lawsuit. She'll likely take several weeks to rule on that request.

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