Kim Foxx, the Cook County State’s Attorney who had close involvement in the Jussie Smollett case, reportedly called the ex-“Empire” actor a “washed up celeb who lied to cops” in newly-released texts.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Foxx made the comment in a March 8 text to Joseph Magats, her leading assistant. Foxx also asserted that Smollett was being overcharged for allegedly staging a hate crime on himself in Chicago, noting that R. Kelly, 52, is facing fewer charges for more serious allegations. Magat reportedly agreed, adding that he can understand how it could be perceived as “excessive.”
“Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts,” she reportedly wrote describing Kelly, who is being prosecuted in Cook County.
Characterizing Smollett, she wrote, “Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16.”
“Sooo……I’m recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases…16 counts on a class 4 (felony) becomes exhibit A.”
Foxx had apparently recused herself from the case in February. Since then, her office told the Tribune she had unofficially recused herself as a formal recusal would take the entire office off the case and require them to request the assignment of a special prosecutor.
Public-records requests from the Tribune have produced thousands of texts and emails from Foxx’s office. However, the news outlet wrote that the drove of messages provide little insight into why authorities dropped the charges three weeks after indicting the actor.
Smollett was initially charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct but the charges were inexplicably dropped weeks later in late March. The recently-released messages apparently also show the prosecutor’s office doing heavy damage control after news broke that Smollett won’t face prosecution.
“Just wish I could have anticipated the magnitude of this response and planned a bit better!” Assistant State’s Attorney Risa Lanier, the lead prosecutor on the controversial case, texted Magats hours after charges were dropped.
“There’s really no planning for this,” Magats responded. “It’s the right decision.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Smollett forfeited the $10,000 bond he posted to the city of Chicago. However, city officials have filed a civil lawsuit against the actor in an attempt to recoup more than $130,000 that was spent to investigate January’s reported hate crime.
[Featured image: Kim Foxx/AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File; Jussie Smollett/AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File]