×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chicago State’s Attorney Questioned Charges Against Jussie Smollett as Excessive

The Cook County State’s Attorney whose office was tasked with handling the prosecution of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett at one point referred to him as a “washed up celeb who lied to cops” yet argued that he was being charged with an excessive amount of felonies.

In text messages obtained by Variety, Kim Foxx wrote to one of her associates on March 8, just after Smollett had been indicted on 16 felony counts, “Sooo…I’m recused. But when people accuse us of overcharging cases … 16 counts on a class 4 becomes exhibit A.”

The associate answered, “Yes. I can see where that can be seen as excessive.”

“Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16,” Foxx added, apparently comparing the charges to those faced by singer R. Kelly. Then, she wrote, “On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it’s indicative of something we should be looking at generally. Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should.”

“Agreed,” the associate answered.

Smollett had faced the felony charges after a grand jury indictment on claims that he had staged a hate crime attack in Chicago in January. But on March 26, just weeks after the indictment, the Cook County State’s Attorney dropped the charges. In exchange, Smollett forfeited a $10,000 bond and agreed to community service.

Foxx had recused herself from the case in February after she had communications with one of Smollett’s relatives.

The text messages were revealed in a trove of text messages and emails released on Tuesday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. But the States Attorney exempted many records from disclosure, citing privileged communications and the sealing of the court file after the charges were dropped.

The decision to drop the charges triggered harsh criticism from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Last week the city of Chicago sued Smollett for more than $130,000 in costs to cover the investigation.

Smollett has insisted that he told the truth about the attack. He claimed that on Jan. 29, two attackers struck him, shouted “MAGA Country” and wrapped a noose around his neck.

Many of the text messages and emails released detail how the State’s Attorneys office responded to the furor after the charges were dropped and defended their decision by releasing data on other cases.

Joseph Magats, the First Assistant in the State’s Attorney’s office, ultimately made the decision not to prosecute the case. He told the CBS Chicago station that he did not believe that Smollett was innocent but “based on all facts and circumstances of the case, and also keeping in mind resources and keeping in mind that the office’s  number one priority is to combat violent crime and the drivers of violence, I decided to offer this disposition in the case.”

More TV

  • Golden Globes Placeholder

    2020 Golden Globe Nominations: The Complete List (Updating Live)

    Nominations for the 77th Golden Globe Awards were announced early Monday morning by Tim Allen, Dakota Fanning and Susan Kelechi. The best of the year in both TV and film will be recognized at the Globes, with categories in drama and musical or comedy for each medium. Top contenders for best drama are “The Irishman,” [...]

  • Golden Globe statues appear on stage

    How to Watch the 2020 Golden Globe Nominations

    The Golden Globes annually award the year’s best TV shows and films and this year promises lots of possible surprises. TV shows like “The Crown,” “Fleabag,” and “Pose” are sure to make a splash this year, but will they steal the show with their nominations? This year’s nominations will be announced from the Beverly Hilton [...]

  • Marc Antoine d'Halluin

    Marc Antoine d'Halluin to Succeed Sam Barnett as MBC Group CEO

    Marc Antoine d’Halluin has been appointed CEO of leading Middle Eastern free-to-air satellite network MBC Group following the resignation in October of Sam Barnett as chief of the Dubai-based broadcaster. D’Halluin, who will take up the post in January, has plenty of experience in the pay- and satellite-TV sphere both in Europe and the Middle [...]

  • Supergirl -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths:

    'Crisis on Infinite Earths' Recap: A 'Titans' Cameo and a Fallen Hero

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One,” the premiere of the 2019 “Arrowverse” crossover. Bringing “Crisis on Infinite Earths” to the small screen has been years in the making, so it’s no surprise the epic five-part crossover kicked off with plenty of action on Sunday night [...]

  • Supergirl -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths:

    'Arrowverse' Team on 'Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One' Loss and Crossover Stakes (SPOILERS)

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part One,” the premiere of the 2019 “Arrowverse” crossover event on the CW. The “Arrowverse” “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover kicked off with a bang: Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow’s (Stephen Amell) death. With “Crisis” finally here, Harbinger (Audrey Marie [...]

  • Caroll Spinney & The Grouch36th Annual

    Caroll Spinney: Henson Family, 'Sesame Street' Colleagues Salute Muppet Performer

    Caroll Spinney, the puppet performer behind “Sesame Street’s” indelible Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, was remembered by friends and colleagues as a gifted artist who dedicated his professional life to the show’s mission of educating pre-schoolers. Spinney died Sunday at his home in Connecticut at the age of 85. He limned the Big Bird [...]

  • Rene Auberjonois at the International Myeloma

    René Auberjonois, 'Star Trek' and 'Boston Legal' Actor, Dies at 79

    René Auberjonois, best known for his roles in “Boston Legal” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” died at his home in Los Angeles due to metastatic lung cancer. He was 79. His son Rèmy-Luc confirmed the news to the Associated Press. Auberjonois was a prolific television actor, appearing as Paul Lewiston in 71 episodes of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content