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Tipsheet

Judge Orders Google to Turn Over Jussie Smollett's Emails, Other Data to Investigators

Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

A judge has ordered Google to turn over Empire star Jussie Smollett's private photographs, emails, messages, and location data to a special prosecutor investigating why the Cook County State Attorney's Office suddenly dismissed all charges against the actor, the Daily Mail is reporting. Cook County Judge Michael Toomin has signed off on two warrants seeking information, including unsent email drafts, deleted messages, and other data stored on the Google Drives of both Smollett and the actor's manager. 

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Smollett's problems began in Jan. 2019 when the actor claimed he was attacked in Chicago by two masked Trump supporters for being a gay, black man. But Smollett's hate crime turned out to be a complete hoax, with the two so-called attackers revealing that Smollett had actually hired them to help stage the fake crime.

The actor's publicity stunt cost the city of Chicago a whole lot of time and money, including nearly 1900 hours in police overtime work. A grand jury returned a 16-count felony indictment against the actor back in Mar. 2019, but Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx inexplicably dropped the charges and reportedly wiped clean Smollett's record. 

In June, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin appointed a special prosecutor to investigate why the charges against the actor were so suddenly dropped, in an effort to restore "the public’s confidence in the integrity of our criminal justice system," as Toomin writes in his opinion. 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel questioned whether the actor had any dignity at all for using hate crime laws to further his own acting career. 

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Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Smollett maintains his innocence. 

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