Judge Orders Google To Hand Over Jussie Smollett’s Data
There’s a new twist to the Jussie Smollett case. A special prosecutor is now investigating the handling of the former “Empire” actor’s case in Chicago and has asked for a year’s worth of Smollett’s digital footprint.
“An Illinois judge has ordered Google to turn over a year’s worth of digital information belonging to the actor as part of a special prosecutor’s investigation into the controversial handling of the actor’s reportedly false complaint of a racist attack in Chicago,” The Huffington Post reported.
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Investigators filed two search warrants seeking data such as photos, messages, and geolocation information stored in Gmail accounts linked to Smollett and his manager Frank Gatson from November 2018 to November 2019.
In 2018, Smollett, “who is Black and openly gay, first claimed that two men approached him as he was heading to his apartment last January. He said they yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured a chemical on him and put a rope around his neck,” CBS News reported.
When the police investigated the case, they said evidence pointed to Smollett orchestrating the attack on himself. According to police, Smollett hired two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, to stage the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary on the Fox show.
“Smollett was indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct in March, but just weeks later, the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dismissed the case without a plea, after Smollett agreed to surrender his $10,000 bail and perform 16 hours of community service,” CBS News reported.
In June, former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb was appointed as a special prosecutor to investigate how Foxx and her office handled the Smollett case. Webb could file new criminal charges against Smollett.