Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said last week that the renewed prosecution of Jussie Smollett for allegedly staging a violent hate crime against himself is “bullsh–.“
Foxx, the Illinois state prosecutor for the Chicago area, told the eponymous host of the Ben Joravsky Show, produced at the Chicago Sun-Times’ headquarters, that she is baffled by the attention paid to the matter.
“This issue with Smollett … excuse my language, it’s bullsh–,” Foxx said on Thursday. “We have an abysmal homicide clearance rate; we have horrible violence; and [the attention is on] this case about a low-level offense with an actor who pulled a prank.”
“I’m not saying it wasn’t offensive. I’m not saying it wasn’t something that garnered our attention. But a year later, when I’m sitting with parents who are mourning the loss of their children …”
Smollett, 37, was charged on Feb. 11 in a six-count felony indictment for allegedly playing the victim of a phony hate crime on Jan. 29, 2019, in Chicago.
The new indictment capped a five-month special prosecutor’s probe of the handling of the case. The special prosecutor, Jim Webb, accuses Smollett, who is black and openly gay, of making four separate false reports to Chicago police related to his account of being the victim of a violent hate crime.
Webb obtained the grand jury indictment nearly a year after Foxx’s office dropped similar charges against the former “Empire” actor.
For his part, Smollett, 37, continues to insist he told the truth when he reported that he was accosted on the street outside his apartment. He says two masked men threw a noose around his neck and poured chemicals on him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs and expressions of support for President Donald Trump.
Kim Foxx attacks the special prosecutor in fight for her political life
The allegations, which Smollett publicly detailed in an emotional interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” last February, made national headlines at the time. Many other celebrities, as well as activists, politicians and journalists rushed to condemn not just the attackers but the supposed state of Trump’s America.
The Illinois Supreme Court on Friday rejected without comment Smollett’s request to dismiss the latest charges against him.
Smollett’s lawyers argued that Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin exceeded his authority and misinterpreted the law when he ordered the appointment of Webb, who obtained the new charges against the actor.
The petition asked the state’s highest court to disqualify the special prosecutor and dismiss the case outright.
Foxx’s comments on Joravsky’s podcast were just her latest criticism of Webb’s case as she fights for her reelection ahead of the March 17 Illinois primary. Victory in the primary is tantamount to winning the general election in November because of Cook County’s overwhelming Democratic registration advantage.
Foxx faces challenges from three fellow Democrats, who have heavily criticized her handling of the Smollett case.
One of the challengers, Bill Conway, used audio from the Joravsky podcast to slam Foxx in a TV campaign ad that debuted last week.
The commercial twice features her characterization of the Smollett case as “bullsh–,” adding reverb for effect in the second instance.
It concludes with text on the screen asking: “If Foxx doesn’t understand what she did wrong, what will stop her from doing it again?”
- Kim Foxx./Jussie Smollett.: Screen grabs