Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx referred to Jussie Smollett as a “washed up celeb who lied to cops,” according to her text messages, which were released Tuesday by her office.
The message was sent to her top assistant Joseph Magats on March 8, shortly after news broke that the “Empire” actor was indicted on 16 felony counts.
The communications were obtained by the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets in response to a public records request.
“Sooo…...I’m recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases...16 counts on a class 4 (felony) becomes exhibit A,” Foxx wrote to Magats.
She continued, arguing the charges were excessive and making a comparison to the office’s pending indictments against R. Kelly.
“Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16 (counts),” she wrote. “… Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should.”
Foxx added: "On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it’s indicative of something we should be looking at generally.”
Texts messages from State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to staff about two weeks before charges were dropped on Jussie Smollett.— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) April 16, 2019
Refers to Smollett as a “washed up celeb who lied to cops.”
Texts obtained through FOIA request. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/KWPKQzLQ8h
Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report after staging a racist and homophobic attack, telling police two white men beat him up, poured a chemical substance on him and tied a noose around his neck, with one yelling “This is MAGA country.”
Foxx defended her communication with Magats about her concerns with the case, even though she recused herself.
“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,” Foxx said in a statement. “I was elected to bring criminal justice reform and that includes intentionality, consistency, and discretion. I will continue to uphold these guiding principles.”
Statement from State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. pic.twitter.com/GOgiunsNIX— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) April 17, 2019
Despite the release of thousands of internal texts and emails about the case, “the majority of documents released Tuesday do not deal with the substance of the case and do little to illuminate why prosecutors decided to dismiss the charges so soon after bringing them,” the Chicago Tribune reports.