Jussie Smollett Chicago attack: On 1 year anniversary of 'Empire' actor's claims his lawyers are looking for dirt on Eddie Johnson

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Jussie Smollett claimed he was beaten in a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood one year ago Wednesday.

Smollett's report sent Chicago police into overdrive to find his alleged attackers. Then, on Feb. 13, 2019, the men, identified as the Osundairo brothers, were detained and questioned by police. A day later, Smollett spoke to ABC's Robin Roberts on Good Morning America.

"What people need to hear is the truth. It's just the truth," he said.

But the case exploded when Chicago police charged the "Empire" actor, saying Smollett staged the whole thing.

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"Empire" actor and R&B singer Jussie Smollett told Chicago police last month that two men physically attacked him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. There have been dozens of twists and turns since then. Here are some key moments from the start of this story.



The truth proved elusive. The Osundairo brothers were released. On Feb. 19 Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself from the case. By Feb. 21, Smollett had turned himself in, arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," said then-CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson at the time of the charges.

He was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. The actor continued to claim his story was true, and on March 26 but the charges were dropped by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in return for the forfeiture of his $10,000 bond payment.

A special prosecutor is looking into why the Cook County State's Attorney made that decision.

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Chicago police have released nearly 70 hours of video in the Jussie Smollett case.



But the City of Chicago was not done yet. On April 11 they filed a lawsuit to recoup the $130,000 the police department said it spent investigating his claims. Then, on Aug. 23, Dan Webb was appointed special prosecutor to re-investigate the case.

The issue of the charges being dropped has plagued Foxx as she runs for re-election as Cook County State's Attorney.

"I acknowledge that in our transparency to the public we fell short," she said.

Smollett filed his own lawsuit against the city, alleging the city and Chicago police ignored key evidence that proved his claim of an attack, and accusing Johnson of maliciously going after him without probable cause.

Wednesday, it became public that as part of that countersuit Smollett's attorneys are looking for documents related to the Johnson scandal.

"They're going to see what dirt they can bring in on the former superintendent with one goal in mind," said former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer. "If you can embarrass the city or try to embarrass the city, maybe they cut a better deal."

Webb has not commented on his re-investigation of the case since his appointment. We do know, however, that he is seeking Smollett's location data, messages and pictures from the last year. A Cook County Judge ordered Google to turn that information over to him earlier this month.

Previous coverage:
Google ordered to turn over a year of Jussie Smollett emails, data by judge
Jussie Smollett files counterclaim against Chicago saying prosecution was 'malicious'
Jussie Smollett case: Judge denies motion to dismiss Chicago lawsuit against 'Empire' actor
Judge in Smollett case rules to keep Dan Webb as special prosecutor after concerns of possible conflict of interest
Jussie Smollett case: Documents show special prosecutor Dan Webb made donation to Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx
Jussie Smollett case: PR firm says 'every iota' of 'Empire' actor's claim true; police differ
Dan Webb appointed special prosecutor in 'Empire' actor's case
Jussie Smollett case: Hearing held on Chicago's lawsuit against 'Empire' actor
'Empire' filming in Chicago near Jussie Smollett alleged attack site
Jussie Smollett: Judge dismisses motions by 'Empire' actor's attorneys
Jussie Smollett: Attorneys decline special prosecutor role in actor's case, report says
'Empire' actor's attorneys argue against special prosecutor, want judge replaced

Jussie Smollett's attorneys argue for Chicago lawsuit to be moved to federal court
Chicago police release investigative files, video of alleged staged attack on 'Empire' actor
Judge orders special prosecutor to review Jussie Smollett case
911 calls released of Jussie Smollett reporting alleged attack
Lee Daniels says Jussie Smollett not returning for final season of 'Empire'
Cook Co. State's Attorney's Office releases documents in Jussie Smollett case
Chicago police release 400 pages of Jussie Smollett case files
Judge rules to unseal records in Jussie Smollett case
'Empire' will go 1 more season, Smollett's future is unclear
Judge asked to recuse himself from petition to appoint special prosecutor in Jussie Smollett case
Jussie Smollett's contract extended, no plans for character to return to 'Empire'
Osundairo brothers file defamation lawsuit against Jussie Smollett's attorneys
Kim Foxx receives death threats after Jussie Smollett charges dropped
Kim Foxx's chief spokesperson resigns from State's Attorney's Office
2 top staffers leaving Kim Foxx's State's Attorney's Office
Jussie Smollett update: Kim Foxx's texts and emails raise more questions about recusal
Kim Foxx texts show she thought number of Jussie Smollett charges 'excessive'
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx asks for review of how Jussie Smollett case was handled
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx asks for review of how Jussie Smollett case was handled
City sues Jussie Smollett for cost of investigating alleged staged attack
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx lets Derrion Albert killer off the hook
Kim Foxx says 'this is personal' about calls for her to resign
Jussie Smollett attorney responds to Chicago's civil suit threat
Taraji P. Henson weighs in on 'Empire' co-star Jussie Smollett's case
Chicago to file civil suit against 'Empire' actor for not paying $130K cost of police investigation
In wake of Jussie Smollett, suburban police chiefs take no confidence stance against State's Attorney Kim Foxx
Jussie Smollett case leads to protests for, against Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx
Chris Rock rips an absent Jussie Smollett at the NAACP Image Awards
Thousands referred for alternative prosecution by Cook County prosecutors haven't completed process
Jussie Smollett's surprise deal raises new questions

City of Chicago asks Jussie Smollett to pay for $130,000 cost of investigation
FBI reviewing circumstances of Jussie Smollett's charges being dropped, sources confirm
What's inside the CPD Jussie Smollett investigative file?
Mayor Emanuel calls decision to drop charges against Smollett 'whitewash of justice'
Charges dropped against 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett
Osundairo brother at center of Jussie Smollett case compete in Chicago boxing match
Jussie Smollett update: 'Pain and anger' around 'Empire' in recent weeks, Lee Daniels says
FOP accuses Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx of interfering in Jussie Smollett investigation
Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct charges
Jussie Smollett update: Texts shed light on why State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself
Jussie Smollett appears in court for hearing; Cameras allowed for Thursday hearing
Jussie Smollett update: Brothers 'taken advantage of' by Smollett, attorney says
Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury
Brothers reportedly involved in Jussie Smollett alleged hoax release statement expressing 'regret'
Jussie Smollett's check to brothers obtained by ABC News
Jussie Smollett's character to be removed from 'Empire', producers say
What's next for Jussie Smollett? Possible big police bill
Jussie Smollett alleged hoax may cast doubt on real hate crimes, advocates fear
Jussie Smollett out on bond after being accused of staging attack
Jussie Smollett charged with disorderly conduct for filing false police report, prosecutors say
Cook Co. State's Attorney Kim Foxx recuses herself from Jussie Smollett investigation
Brothers told police Smollett was upset threatening letter didn't get enough attention, staged attack
Activist calls for Smollett's arrest, believes actor lied about attack
Brothers tell police that Jussie Smollett paid them to stage attack, official says
Sources: Police investigating whether Smollett staged attack with help of others
Timeline of key moments in alleged attack on Jussie Smollett
Jussie Smollett breaks silence on Chicago attack
'Empire' actor's family releases statement on attack, pictures of possible persons of interest released
Photos show potential persons of interest in 'Empire' actor attack, police say
'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett attacked in Chicago in possible hate crime, police say
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