LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — “Empire” star Jussie Smollett on Friday issued a statement through his publicist addressing an alleged hate crime he says happened to him early Tuesday morning in Chicago.
He told police that he was followed by two men who attacked him and shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him. He also alleged the unknown assailants beat him and poured a chemical on him that is believed to have been bleach.
The actor and singer said one of the men also put a rope around his neck.
Today, he issued a statement discussing the incident. He also addressed various rumors circulating about the veracity of his story.
Smollett addressed his fans first with, “Beautiful People.”
He wrote, “Let me start by saying that I’m ok. 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. 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. 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.”
Smollett went on to write, “We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident but I need a moment to process. 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 signed his statement, “With Love, respect & honor…Jussie.”