Kim Foxx texts show she thought number of Jussie Smollett charges 'excessive'

CHICAGO -- Text messages obtained by the ABC7 I-Team show Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx thought the number of charges filed against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett were excessive.

The I-Team obtained hundreds of texts and emails through a Freedom of Information Act request from Foxx's office. The State's Attorney's Office would later drop all charges against Smollett.

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The fallout continues over the Jussie Smollett investigation as text messages from Kim Foxx's cell phone show the Cook County state's attorney was still communicating with her staf



Foxx recused herself from the case because she had conversations with Smollett's family related to the case before police announced they believed the actor's report of a hate crime was made up and that the attack against him had been staged.

There are dozens of texts that include private conversations between Foxx and her staff, many including links to published reports about the Smollett case.

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In one exchange, just weeks before Foxx's office decided to drop all charges against the actor, Foxx wrote, "Sooo......I'm recused, but when people accuse us of overcharging cases...16 counts no a class 4 becomes exhibit A."

Foxx continued, "Pedophile with 4 victims and 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16."



The text messages show that even after her recusal, Foxx was still communicating with prosecutors working on the case.

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In an exclusive interview, Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot spoke exclusively to ABC7 about the lawsuit filed by the city of Chicago against Jussie Smollett.



Smollett was indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report by a grand jury. Investigators said he paid two brothers to help stage a hate crime attack on himself in Streeterville in late January.

Foxx released a statement Tuesday night, saying, "After the indictment became public, I reached out to Joe to discuss reviewing office policies to assure consistencies in our charging and our use of appropriate charging authority. I was elected to bring criminal justice reform and that includes intentionality, consistency, and discretion. I will continue to uphold these guiding principles."

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city is calculating how much it cost to investigate Jussie Smollett's case and will be sending the actor the bill.



Smollett has continued to maintain his innocence, saying he has been truthful the entire time.

Jussie Smollett case: Timeline of key moments in alleged attack on 'Empire' actor
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"Empire" actor and R&B singer Jussie Smollett told Chicago police last month that two men physically attacked him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. There have been dozens of twists and turns since then. Here are some key moments from the start of this story.



Previous coverage:
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx asks for review of how Jussie Smollett case was handled

Jussie Smollett update: City sues 'Empire' actor for cost of investigating alleged staged attack
Jussie Smollett attorney responds to Chicago's civil suit threat
Chicago to file civil suit against 'Empire' actor for not paying $130K cost of police investigation
In wake of Jussie Smollett, suburban police chiefs take no confidence stance against State's Attorney Kim Foxx
Jussie Smollett case leads to protests for, against Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx
Jussie Smollett update: Thousands referred for alternative prosecution by Cook County prosecutors haven't completed process
Jussie Smollett update: City of Chicago asks Jussie Smollett to pay for $130,000 cost of investigation
Jussie Smollett update: What's inside the CPD investigative file?
Jussie Smollett update: FBI reviewing circumstances of Jussie Smollett's charges being dropped, sources confirm
Jussie Smollett update: Charges against 'Empire' actor dropped; 'not an exoneration,' prosecutor says
RELATED: Mayor Emanuel calls decision to drop charges against Smollett 'whitewash of justice'
RELATED: Charges dropped against 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett
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RELATED: Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury
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RELATED: Jussie Smollett out on bond after being accused of staging attack
RELATED: Jussie Smollett charged with disorderly conduct for filing false police report, prosecutors say
RELATED: Cook Co. State's Attorney Kim Foxx recuses herself from Jussie Smollett investigation
RELATED: Brothers told police Smollett was upset threatening letter didn't get enough attention, staged attack
RELATED: Activist calls for Smollett's arrest, believes actor lied about attack
RELATED: Brothers tell police that Jussie Smollett paid them to stage attack, official says
RELATED: Sources: Police investigating whether Smollett staged attack with help of others
RELATED: Timeline of key moments in alleged attack on Jussie Smollett
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RELATED: 'Empire' actor's family releases statement on attack, pictures of possible persons of interest released
RELATED: Photos show potential persons of interest in 'Empire' actor attack, police say
RELATED: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett attacked in Chicago in possible hate crime, police say
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