'Empire' star Jussie Smollett breaks silence on vicious racist, homophobic attack: 'I'm OK'
On January 29 morning at approximately 2 am, Smollett was beaten by two men who approached him yelling out 'racial and homophobic slurs'
'Empire' star and LGBTQ+ activist Jussie Smollett has finally broken his silence after the homophobic and racist attack he endured earlier this week in Chicago.
In a statement addressed to the "beautiful people", the 35-year-old actor, assured his fans that he’s recovering well and thanked them for the outpouring support.
"Let me start by saying that I’m OK," Smollett said in his first public statement, shared with 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."
On January 29 morning, Smollett was beaten by two men who approached him yelling out "racial and homophobic slurs" at approximately 2 am on that Tuesday morning in the 300 block of E. North Water Street. They proceeded to assault Smollett and "poured an unknown chemical substance" on him, according to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department. The two men are also said to have put a rope around Smollett’s neck before fleeing on foot. Smollett was able to transport himself to the hospital after suffering injuries.
In his latest public statement about the event, Smollett added that he has been working closely with the police, and dismissed rumors about the incident.
"I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served," he said.
On Thursday, Smollett's family said in a statement; "Our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime." The family also noted in their statement that they wanted "people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country."
Smollett added, "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. We will talk soon and I will address all the details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process." He 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." he concluded.
Smollett signed his statement by writing, "With Love, respect & honor… Jussie."