Jussie Smollett obsessively Google searched his name in the days after he allegedly staged a bigoted attack against himself to get attention.
Smollett, 37, a former star of Fox’s “Empire,” googled his name 57 times between Jan. 30 and Feb. 10, according to a trove of information released Monday by Chicago police. On the afternoon of the first day alone, he searched seven times for “Jussie Smollett’ or “Juss.”
The majority of Smollett’s internet searches over those 10 days were of himself. He read reports about his representative speaking out against the attack and police tracking down the purchase of a rope that he claimed his assailants used as a noose.
Ironically, the Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this month that Google has been censoring users’ searches of actor Jussie Smollett‘s name, excluding terms related to his alleged “hate crime hoax.”
In addition to Smollett’s internet browsing history, police on Monday released his text message transcripts and nearly 70 hours of footage related to his investigation. One video shows officers entering Smollett’s apartment on Jan. 29, after he reported that he had been jumped by two masked men. He is still wearing the noose around his neck.
“Do you want to take it off or anything?” an officer asks.
“Yeah, I do,” Smollett says. “I just wanted you to see it.”
After removing the noose, Smollett adds, “There’s bleach on me. They poured bleach on me.”
If Jussie Smollett googled himself now
Police at first investigated Smollett’s allegations as a possible hate crime because he said his assailants called him racist and homophobic slurs and shouted “This is ‘MAGA’ country!” Many other celebrities, activists, politicians, and journalists rushed to condemn not just the attackers but the supposed state of President Donald Trump’s America.
But in February, Smollett was arrested and charged with staging the attack in an alleged scheme to increase his profile and paycheck. Fox cut ties with the actor shortly thereafter, removing him from the final two episodes of the season.
In March, the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dismissed all 16 charges against Smollett. Police and other Chicago officials expressed outrage, and the city sued the actor for the cost of his investigation.
Last week, Cook County Michael Toomin said a special prosecutor should be appointed in Smollett’s case. According to Toomin, the yet-to-be-named person could bring new charges against the beleaguered celebrity on “reasonable grounds.”
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