US

Special Prosecutor Appointed to Investigate Jussie Smollett Case

By Zachary Stieber

A special prosecutor will be appointed to probe the handling of Jussie Smollett’s case, potentially bringing charges against the former “Empire” actor.

Smollett was indicated with 16 felony counts for allegedly filing a false police report, but all of the charges were dropped on March 26.

Cook County Judge Michael Toomin on June 21 ordered the special prosecutor appointed to investigate why the office of Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the charges. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago police, and a state attorney’s group were among those opposing the move.

Foxx was not able to appoint Joe Magats, the state attorney who dropped the charges, to the case after she recused herself, Toomin said. The office of “acting states attorney” didn’t exist, he said.

“There isn’t an office of ‘acting states attorney.’ It existed only . . . in the imagination of Ms. Foxx,” Toomin wrote.

The case “deviated from the statutory mandate requiring the appointment of a special prosecutor where the state’s attorney is recused,” he wrote. “It is a case where based upon similar factual scenarios, resulting dispositions, and judgments have been deemed void and held for naught.”

“The ship of the state ventured from its protected harbor without the guiding hand of its captain. There was no master on the bridge to guide the ship as it floated through unchartered waters,” Toomin wrote. “And it ultimately lost its bearings.”

Sheila O’Brien, a former appellate judge, spurred the ruling, reported NBC Chicago.

“I think it will give all of us answers but the most important thing is that, as the judge indicated, the confidence in our judicial system will be restored,” O’Brien said.

Asked why she made the filing that prompted the appointment, she said: “Because it had to be done and no one had done it.”

jussie smollett
Actor Jussie Smollett waves as he leaves Cook County Court after his charges were dropped in Chicago, on March 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty/File)

Smollett Bought Drugs From Assailants, Said They Couldn’t Be Perpetrators: Documents

Actor Jussie Smollett bought drugs from the two brothers that assaulted him, documents released by the Chicago Police Department show.

The batch of documents was released on May 30. (See pdfs herehere, and here).

Detectives obtained phone records from Abel and Ola Osundairo as well as access to Smollett’s phone and social media accounts and found one of them was in touch with Smollett before and after the alleged assault.

According to texts obtained by the police, Smollett asked one of the brothers for marijuana, ecstasy, and cocaine. Smollett paid through Venmo.

In one series of messages, Smollett wrote: “[Expletive] you still got a molly connect?”

Abel Osundairo, left, and his brother Ola Osundairo
Abel Osundairo, left, and his brother Ola Osundairo, in a file photo. The Nigerian brothers were arrested in connection with the alleged attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett but were released after reportedly telling detectives Smollett paid them to stage the attack. (Team Abel/Instagram)

“Hahahaha,” the brother replied.

“Imma need a good fo pills Haha,” Smollett wrote.

“Oh yeah? Got you?” the brother said. He later wrote, “Got it.” They arranged for Smollett to get the pills in the morning.

Detectives said that a check Smollett wrote to the brothers was not, as he claimed, for training but for drugs. “There are multiple occasions where Smollett appears to describe payments for illicit activity as payments for legitimate expenses,” detectives added.

Smollett was also shown pictures of the Osundairo brothers while being interviewed on Feb. 14. He told detectives that he had known one of them for about one year and that he’d been his trainer for about a month. He said they first met on the set of “Empire.”