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Jussie Smollett faces deadline to pay city of Chicago $130,000

Smollett billed by Chicago police

Chicago — A deadline is looming for Jussie Smollett to pay more than $130,000 to Chicago for investigative costs into what city authorities say was a staged racist, anti-gay attack or risk getting slapped with a civil lawsuit.

Thursday is seven days since Mayor Rahm Emanuel's law chief sent the "Empire" actor a letter demanding the payment. The March 28 letter said he must pay within seven days but didn't specify a response if he didn't.

Nonpayment will likely prompt the city to sue Smollett, prompting a civil trial where standards for proving he staged the incident will be lower than in criminal court.  

Smollett had been charged with 16 felony counts for allegedly lying to Chicago police about being victim of a hate crime, but all the charges were dropped last month in a controversial decision made by the Cook County state's attorneys office.

Chicago sent the letter after state prosecutors dropped criminal charges. Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot could reverse any legal action after she's sworn in on May 20. 

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