Secret Texts Released: DA Kim Fox Called Jussie Smollett ‘Washed Up Celeb Who Lied to Cops’
In newly released text messages from State’s Attorney Kim Foxx revealed that she called Jussie Smollett a “washed up celeb who lied to cops” just 2 weeks before dismissing all charges against him. She made the statement while comparing the Smollett case to one involving a pedophile, The texts were obtained by the Chicago Tribune through an open records request.
Last month, the state’s attorney’s office dropped 16 felony charges against the “Empire” actor, who was accused of staging a hate crime against himself in Chicago. Smollett agreed to forfeit $10,000 in bail and do community service.
The released documents shed light into the frustrations and pressure that Kim Foxx and her office were facing as it handled the Smollett case. There were thousands of texts and emails about Jussie Smollett probe that were made public by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office.
As the news broke that all charges were dropped, Foxx’s staff scrambled to handle media requests and faced criticism from Chicago police.
“Just wish I could have anticipated the magnitude of this response and planned a bit better,” Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier wrote in a text message.
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
“There’s really no planning for this,” Joseph Magats, Foxx’s top assistant responded. “It’s the right decision.”
“Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16 (counts),” Foxx wrote. “… Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should.”
Kim Foxx said in a statement released Tuesday that she had reached out to Joseph Magats, the first assistant state’s attorney, after Smollett’s indictment “to discuss reviewing office policies to assure consistencies in our charging and our use of appropriate charging authority.”
Foxx went on in those texts to Magats to compare Smollett’s case to the office’s pending indictment of R&B singer R. Kelly on 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
The texts also reveal that the prosecutors’ office only notified Chicago Police Department moments before the charges were dropped and that there were reporters were already gathering in the courtroom. The press had been tipped off by a publicist for Smollett’s legal team.
“It appears as if Jussie’s press person may have notified the press,” Lanier texted three spokespeople on the morning the case was dismissed.
A short time later, a spokeswoman texted back to say she had notified a Police Department spokesman who would notify CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
About 10 minutes later, Kim Foxx texted Magats: “Eddie just called. (He) needed to know how to answer questions from press.”
Foxx said she told Johnson that Smollett’s charges were dismissed since he completed community service (he worked at Jesse Jackson‘s charity for a few hours the weekend before charges were dismissed, but it was not court ordered or monitored) and turned over his $10,000 bond money to the city.
“He seemed satisfied with the explanation,” Foxx told Magats.
However, Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a news conference that morning slamming the decision — “a miscarriage of justice,” the mayor said.
Inspector General Patrick Blanchard will be conducting an investigation of how Foxx’s office handled the case.
Kim Foxx had previously claimed that she was never actively involved in the case because the crime was the lowest level of felony, but that she did get updates until an email from the chief ethics officer went out to her staff, instructing them not to include her in discussions about the investigation.