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Jussie Smollett was working on plea deal before 'hoax' charges were dropped

The 'Empire' star was told in March he wouldn't be charged over allegations he orchestrated a racist and homophobic attack on himself in January.

FILE: Jussie Smollett attends the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 60th Anniversary Opening Night Gala Benefit at New York City Center on 28 November 2018 in New York City. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Jussie Smollett was working on a plea deal over allegations he staged a hate attack on himself, one month before charges were dropped.

The Empire star was told in March he wouldn't be charged over allegations he orchestrated a racist and homophobic attack on himself in January, but just one month before prosecutors decided to drop the charges against the star, they had reportedly told police they were going to pursue a plea deal, including a fine and community service time.

According to a mammoth 460-page document that was released on Thursday - which detailed the timeline of how detectives handled Smollet's case - prosecutors told Chicago police detectives just days after Smollet's arrest that he would be let off the alleged crimes with a $10,000 fine and an undefined amount of time in community service.

However, the documents show there was no mention of dropping the charges against the actor, and detectives only discovered they "could no longer investigate the crime" when Smollet was indicted on disorderly conduct charges on 28 February, a month after his initial claims were made.

Risa Lanier, one of the Cook County State's Attorney's top deputies, told police officials then "that she felt the case would be settled with Smollett paying the City of Chicago $10,000 in restitution and doing community service," and that she'd be in touch to request the rest of their evidence, but detectives claim no-one ever reached out to them for the details.

Recently, Smollet was hit with a lawsuit by the City of Chicago, who are suing him for $130,000 to compensate for the overtime pay for police who investigated his case.

The city says the cost of investigating the case was at least $130,000 in overtime alone, but it wants hundreds of thousands of dollars on top of that to cover attorneys fees and additional expenses.

But Smollet's attorney Marc Geragos said he won't be paying the city a penny, because he maintains his innocence in the alleged hate attack.

Geragos said: "Mr. Smollett will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum. Mr Smollett vehemently denies making any false statements."

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