Google has been ordered to turn over a year’s worth of Jussie Smollett’s emails, photographs, private messages, and location data as part of a special prosecutor’s investigation into why criminal charges against the actor were so suddenly dropped.
According to the Chicago Tribute newspaper, special prosecutor Dan Webb submitted to search warrants to the court, both of which were signed off by Cook County Judge Michael Toomin last month.
The warrants will see Google hand over information from both Smollett and his manager’s accounts, including deleted messages and draft emails that were never sent. In addition, Webb requested files from the pair’s Google Drive storage services, as well as Google Voice texts and their web browsing history – all from November 2018 to November 2019.
Smollett was arrested amid claims he filed a false police report alleging he was the victim of a hate crime back in January 2019. However, the 16 counts of disorderly conduct against the former “Empire” star were quickly dropped by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office just weeks later.
Toomin later appointed Webb to investigate, with the warrants giving an idea of exactly what he’s investigating.
In granting the warrants, Toomin ordered Google not to disclose his decision, saying that doing so may “jeopardise an ongoing criminal investigation.”
It remains unclear at this point whether or not Google has handed the information over as yet.
Smollett has maintained his innocence throughout the arrest and investigation.