‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Breaks His Silence After Alleged Racist and Homophobic Attack
Jussie Smollett has broken his silence for the first time since being hospitalized.
The Empire star issued his first official statement after his suspected racist and homophobic attack in Chicago earlier this week. He thanked everyone for the outpouring of love and assured fans that he's fine.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett said in a statement to Essence. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly, I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words.”
He also revealed that he's working with the police to identify the men who assaulted him. “I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” he said. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”
As previously reported, Chicago police say the actor was attacked by two individuals, wearing ski masks, who shouted "racial and homophobic slurs" and “this is MAGA country." They allegedly hit him in the face, beat him, placed a noose around his neck, and "poured an unknown chemical substance" on him.
His family believes his attack was a targeted hate crime, and Smollet thinks so too. “As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers, and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident," he continued.
“We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process,” Smollett concluded. “Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief, and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.”