CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx decided to release more than 2,000 pages of documents in the Jussie Smollett case around 5 p.m. Friday, making the entire file public.
The files are now available because a judge lifted the seal in the case last week.
Text messages released in the files reveal that Foxx recused herself from prosecuting Smollett because of a false rumor that she was related to the actor.
But for months Foxx said publicly that her decision to recuse herself was because she spoke with a relative of Smollett’s when he was still considered a victim, a move Foxx said was to “streamline the case.”
But Foxx still had her hands in the case even after she ceremoniously removed herself.
Friday she said, in part, “I am sorry that despite the best intentions, our efforts were less than what was required of the moment.”
March 14 about 10 days before charges were dropped, paperwork showing the conditions of Smollett’s deal were crafted: $10,000 and some community service.
But then Smollett got off without any admission of guilt. That sent the State’s Attorney’s Office scrambling to find similar cases to show the public this wasn’t a special celebrity deal.
Foxx’s chief of staff wrote, “I would love a case that went to trial, found guilty and received only restitution and/or community service … The data alone is not working.”
The reference to data is presumably in the court of public opinion.
Evidence photos being seen for the first time show the rope Smollett said his attackers placed around his neck resembling a noose and the hot sauce bottle filled with bleach that was dumped on him.
New surveillance photos show Smollett’s Mercedes driving near the reported attack days earlier. Brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, who said they were paid to carry out the attack, were also in the car. The trio talked through how the hoax should play out, the documents state.
And with the severity and scrutiny from the fallout of this case, the state’s attorney somehow found humor in it, writing “lol” on several occasions.
The day before charges were dropped in a seemingly secret hearing, emails from within the State’s Attorney’s Office reveal that there were efforts to keep the plan quiet.