In a newly revealed text message obtained by The Chicago Tribune in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx calls Jussie Smollett a “washed up celeb who lied to cops.” This was written two weeks prior to her abrupt decision to drop all charges against him – and after she had recused herself from the case.
Smollett was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct on suspicion of staging a Jan. 29 hate crime attack on himself.
This message was included in a group of thousands of internal emails and texts released to the newspaper on Tuesday. On March 8, in a text message to her top assistant and fellow prosecutor Joseph Magats, she compared the case against singer R. Kelly to Smollett’s case. She believed the charges against Smollett were too harsh. She wrote:
“Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16 (counts). 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.”
Texts messages from State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to staff about two weeks before charges were dropped on Jussie Smollett.
Refers to Smollett as a “washed up celeb who lied to cops.”
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) April 16, 2019
On March 3, Magats texted Foxx to notify her that he had given Foxx’s phone number to Michael Avenatti, who was planning to represent the Nigerian brothers whom Smollett had hired to “commit the assault.”
“…….. so Michael Avenatti reached out. Apparently he’s coming in to represent the Nigerian brothers in Smollet. I gave him your office number.”
Foxx announced that she had recused herself from the case on February 19th. After the decision was made to drop charges against Smollett, she revealed that she had never “formally” recused herself. This move sparked outrage from Chicago Police Department officials, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and most Americans.
In a statement obtained by USA Today, Foxx said, “After the indictment became public, I reached out to Joe to discuss reviewing office policies to assure consistencies in our charging and our use of appropriate charging authority. I was elected to bring criminal justice reform and that includes intentionality, consistency, and discretion. I will continue to uphold these guiding principles.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, the text messages indicated that prosecutors informed the Chicago Police Department only moments before the charges were dropped.