Cook County's top prosecutor Kim Foxx called ‘Empire' star Jussie Smollett a "washed up celeb who lied to cops" in a text message she sent before dropping all charges against the actor in March.
The text message was released Tuesday by her office in response to an open records request by the Chicago Tribune, Fox News reports.
In text messages sent to her top assistant Joseph Magats on March 8, Foxx compared the Smollett case to her pending indictments against R&B singer R. Kelly, who is accused of aggravated sex abuse against four females, including 3 minors.
"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."
"On a case eligible for deferred prosecution I think it's indicative of something we should be looking at generally," Foxx continued.
Her texts implied she was still very much involved in Smollett's case even though she recused herself in February.
Smollett, 33, was indicted by a grand jury on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for lying to cops about staging a hate crime with two Nigerian-American brothers in January.
The openly homosexual actor claimed 2 men assaulted him in a racist and homophobic attack outside his Chicago condo.
But investigators determined he staged the attack on himself to boost his celebrity profile on the Fox Television soap opera.
On March 3, Magats told Foxx that he gave her phone number to celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti who joined the case to represent the 2 Nigerian brothers.
"...so Michael Avenatti reached out. Apparently he's coming in to represent the Nigerian brothers in Smollett. I gave him your office number," Magats wrote.
Avenatti would eventually turn over a key piece of evidence - a sex tape - that Foxx used to secure indictments against Kelly, 52.
Avenatti was later hit with a 36-count federal indictment that included accusations that he stole $4 million from a paraplegic client in California.
The text messages sent between Foxx and Magats conflicted with statements made by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson who claimed his office was not notified that the charges would be dropped against Smollett.
The texts show Foxx's office notified Johnson moments before the charges were dropped.
"Eddie just called. (He) needed to know how to answer questions from press," Foxx texted Magats.
Foxx told Magats that Johnson seemed "satisfied" with her explanation that Smollett had completed community service and turned over his $10,000 bond money to the city.
That same day Johnson and then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a tense news conference expressing their outrage at not being notified and blasting Foxx's decision as a "whitewash of justice."
Many observers at the time believed Johnson and Emanuel were grandstanding for the news cameras.
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