WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- After being attacked in Chicago, Empire actor Jussie Smollet told E! News on Friday that he is now OK and wants to thank all the people who sent their love and support.
- He also shared that he is presently working with the police and hopes justice will be served despite inaccuracies that were leaked out.
- The assault was believed to be hate and racially motivated crime.
Following news of Jussie Smollet being violently assaulted in Chicago by two unknown assailants, many expressed outrage while others dismissed it as a hoax. Finally, the Empire actor broke his silence and made his first public comments.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK. 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,” Smollett, 36, in a statement on Friday to E! News.
He also added that although he was deeply concerned about some inaccuracies and misrepresentations, he still believes that justice will be served. He is currently working with the police and had been “100 percent factual and consistent on every level”.
The two attackers allegedly approached Smollett, who is black and openly gay, yelled racial and homophobic insults, hit his face, poured a chemical substance on him and tied a rope on his face before running away. Smollett took himself to a hospital and has been reported to be in good condition.
Two “potential persons of interest” allegedly involved in the possible “racially motivated” attack were caught in a surveillance video recovered by investigators. Footages of Smollet walking in downtown Chicago before and after the incident, with another video of him getting home with a rope around his neck, were reported as well.
On Thursday, Smollet and his manager told detectives that at the time of the attack, they were speaking to each other on the phone. Phone records have shown that he and his manager were indeed speaking at the time of the assault. This led to the police saying they had “no reason to doubt” the accounts of both Smollett and his manager, says Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Although the cowardly attacks are happening daily to all non-gender conforming siblings, Smollett stressed that he and his case should not be looked upon as an isolated incident.
“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.”
Source: E! Online