*Google has been ordered by a Cook County judge to turn over a year’s worth of Jussie Smollett’s emails, photos, location data and private messages as part of the special prosecutor’s investigation into the actor’s alleged homophobic attack.
We previously reported, an Illinois judge appointed special prosecutor Dan Webb to look into why state prosecutors dropped charges against Smollett, after he was accused of orchestrating a racist, homophobic hate crime against himself.
Smollett, who is openly gay and best known for his role on the Fox Television music drama “Empire,” told police on Jan. 29 that two masked men threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs.
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After a lengthy investigation, police determined the actor/singer staged the entire attack, and Smollett was charged last February with 16 counts of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. However, all the charges were abruptly dropped a month later with little explanation, angering police and city officials.
That’s where Webb comes in.
In two search warrants obtained by the Chicago Tribune, special prosecutor Dan Webb reportedly sought data from Smollett and his manager’s Google accounts from November 2018 to November 2019. The data sought reportedly includes emails, Google Voice texts and calls, web browsing history and location data.
According to the Tribune, it remains unclear on whether Google has yet to comply with the judge’s request.
Meanwhile, Smollett has maintained his innocence against claims that he lied to police about the circumstances surrounding the attack.
“I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one,” he told reporters at the Cook County courthouse in Chicago following the dismissal of charges against him. Smollett added, “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of doing what I was accused of.”
After the scandal, Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyon, was written off “Empire.”
Contrary to previous reports, he will not be featured in the series finale.
“He is not coming back,” FOX entertainment chief Michael Thorn said during TCA, noting that Smollett’s character will likely be acknowledged. “It’s a shame,” he added that “the show is bigger than what happened to him.”
“Empire” returns this Spring. Will you be watching?