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Kim Foxx

Kim Foxx Campaign Dogged by Smollet Indictment

Gettyimages | Scott Olson
By Rhode InStyle

A Cook County, Illinois, grand jury returned a six-count indictment against ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett for making false reports to police that he was a victim of a hate crime. Smollett, who is gay and black, said he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack near his Chicago apartment on January 29, 2019.

Chicago PD investigated the case as a hate crime but later said the actor orchestrated the incident and paid two acquaintances from the TV show on which he starred -- brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo -- to stage the incident for publicity.

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Jussie Smollett
Gettyimages | Nuccio DiNuzzo

The special prosecutor assigned in August to investigate how local prosecutors handled the TV actor's case, said in a statement, "Based on the recommendation of the OSP (Office of the Special Prosecutor), a Cook County grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Jussie Smollett with making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime," the statement said.

Picture of flags
Gettyimages | TiaMedia

This decision to restore charges against Jussie Smollett could bedevil the reelection bid of Kim Foxx, the first black woman to hold Chicago’s top law enforcement job and potentially alter the trajectory of a prosecutor once seen as a rising star in Illinois politics.

The new charges not only raise new questions about his case and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s handling of it – it also comes down weeks before the Illinois primary election. In her defense, Foxx drew a stinging public response quickly raising the specter of a conspiracy against her.

Jussie Smollett
Gettyimages | Nuccio DiNuzzo

Foxx admitted she made mistakes with the Smollett case and has tried to put it behind her but three people – attorney and former alderman Bob Fioretti and former prosecutors Bill Conway and Donna More – are challenging Foxx in the Democratic primary. More said, “Now we know why Kim Foxx has refused to talk about the case.

The Special Prosecutor’s decision is evidence that she was unlawfully influenced by calls from influential politicians and celebrities when she dismissed 16 felony counts against Jussie Smollett,” More said in a statement.

Man holding a phone
Gettyimages | Halfpoint Images

This can no longer be considered just an error in judgment or a disappointing lack of transparency. There may be significant wrongdoing on the part of the State’s Attorney.” With Conway claiming Smollett got a “sweetheart deal” from Cook County prosecutors, the State’s Attorney’s race is a hot one, with all her opponents bringing the case back to the forefront, all using it to excoriate and challenge her decision making – at the very least. Only time will tell the direction these elections will go.

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