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The search warrants obtained by The Chicago Tribune aim to give the court access to the search history, photos, emails, private messages and geolocation data of Smollett and his manager, Frank Gaston, from November 2018 to November 2019, highlighting the increasingly significant role of tech and social media in criminal investigations.
The warrants are part of a now fourth-month long investigation conducted by special prosecutor Dan Webb. Cook County Judge Michael Toomin signed the warrants on Dec. 6 but ordered Google not to disclose the warrants, according to the Tribune.
Google did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment.
Smollett, who is gay and black, attracted a wide range of media attention after reporting that he had been a victim of a racist and homophobic attack. After the incident, the actor called Gaston who then contacted the police.
After the Chicago Police Department initially investigated the incident as a possible hate crime, former Superintendent Eddie Johnson said during a February 2019 news conference that Smollett paid about $3,500 to orchestrate the attack against himself.
"This announcement today recognizes that 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Johnson said, adding later, "Why would anyone, especially an African-American, use a noose ... to further his public profile?"
Webb's investigation began after State Attorney General Kim Foxx dismissed charges of disorderly conduct against the actor in April 2019, just weeks after he was indicted in March.
Chicago PD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department is working with Webb to conduct follow-up investigations, according to the Tribune.
Smollett maintains his innocence today and sued the City of Chicago in November after the city sued Smollett in April. The city's lawsuit demands Smollett pay $130,000 to reimburse police for the time they spent investigating a hate crime that turned out to be an apparent hoax.
The actor argues that the $10,000 payment he made after the close of his criminal case should prevent Chicago from seeking further reimbursement, and the city's prosecution caused him extreme distress and humiliation.