Google has been ordered to turn over a year’s worth of Jussie Smollett’s emails, private messages, photographs and location data to a prosecutor investigating the dismissal of his criminal charges over an alleged attack early last year.
The order continues the controversy over the quick dismissal of 16 criminal counts against Smollett by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office. Smollett was accused of 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a January 2019 attack in downtown Chicago, then lying about it to police. He could have faced up to 50 years in prison if convicted on all of the counts.
The resulting outage at the quick dismissal saw Toomin appoint Webb to investigate why Smollett’s conduct, which galvanized the country with its allegations of racial and homophobic hate, would be quickly tossed aside. Police contended that Smollett hired two brothers to help stage the attack to further his career.
The warrants on Google are the first public indications on what the special prosecutor might be looking at. Webb requested that Google turn over information from the accounts of Smollett and his manager. The request included unsent draft emails and deleted messages, files from their Google Drive cloud storage services, Google Voice texts and web browsing history.
Google was ordered by the judge not to disclose his order, and it has not been determined if they complied. All parties have not commented on the Google situation, and Smollett has maintained his innocence. Despite that, he was written out of his Empire TV show role and has not publicly surfaced in any related entertainment jobs.
Smollett has sued Chicago officials and members of its police department for attempting to collect the costs related to investigating his claims, which the city claims reached $130,000. They are seeking double that amount.