A special prosecutor in Illinois got his way in a court ruling last month. It turns out that a Cook County judge approved two search warrants for actor Jussie Smollett’s online activity when it comes to Google.
According to The Chicago Tribune, the company must turn over information from the actor and his manager’s Google accounts dated November 2018 to November 2019. That includes items like emails (sent, drafted, or deleted), Google Drive files, and web search history.
Just in — authorities want to see #JussieSmollett‘s emails, photos, contacts, location data (!) and a trove of other documents associated with his Google account, per records obtained by me and @JeremyGorner https://t.co/9gEzPHqxQO
— Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) January 8, 2020
All of this is happening as part of a special prosecutor Dan K. Webb’s review of the handling of the case in Cook County.
Judge Michael Toomin ruled in June that the special prosecutor would look into why local prosecutors decided to drop the case against Smollett, and why State’s Attorney Kim Foxx seemed to be involved in the investigation even when she said she recused herself.
Police had claimed that the actor, who is black and gay, faked being the victim of a homophobic, racist assault in January 2019. Smollett recruited Ola and Abel Osundairo to help stage the incident, authorities said. Local prosecutors suddenly dropped the charges last March. The city went on to the sue Smollett, claiming he owed them money for making up the attack.
“This unprecedented civil case was filed simply because former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel disagreed with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s decision to dismiss the false police report charges against Mr. Smollett,” Smollett attorney William J. Quinlan wrote last year. “Mr. Smollett has always maintained and continues to maintain his innocence. Yet the City’s claims and purported damages are a vindictive effort to prosecute charges that the State’s Attorney pursued and then chose to drop.”
Jerry Lambe contributed to this story.
[Image via Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images]