Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx described “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as a “washed up celeb who lied to cops” in texts messages released Tuesday by her office in response to a public-records request by the Chicago Tribune.

Foxx compared Smollett’s case to her office’s pending indictments against R&B singer R. Kelly in text messages to Joseph Magats, her top assistant, on March 8, the paper reported

“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.”

Smollett, who is openly gay, had been indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct on suspicion that he staged a hate crime attack on himself. Foxx’s office eventually dropped the charges, creating a firestorm of protest from local officials.


Foxx’s office made thousands of internal text messages and emails related to the Smollett case available to the paper in response to a public-records request.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.