Jussie Smollett has just spoken out about the racist, homophobic attack that left him hospitalized with a fractured rib.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” the Empire actor said in a statement. Zach Stafford, editor in chief of The Advocate, shared the statement on his Twitter account. “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.”
BREAKING: Jussie Smollett breaks his silence.
“As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily.”https://t.co/FGLe6dxGWU pic.twitter.com/HCkj2KE43B
— Zach Stafford (@ZachStafford) February 1, 2019
Smollett also talked about the ongoing police investigation.
“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent 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.”
The attack took place Tuesday morning in Chicago, where two unknown suspects yelled racial and homophobic slurs at Smollett, poured a chemical substance on him, wrapped a rope around his neck and, according to Smollett, yelled, “this is MAGA country.” They then fled the scene and the singer was taken to Northwestern Hospital, where he was later discharged.
Chicago PD has confirmed that Smollett did receive a letter sent to the studio where Empire is filmed on January 22, prior to the attack, that contained a white powder that turned out to be aspirin. The letter prompted a HAZMAT unit response. Though Chicago PD did not disclose what the letter said, music blog That Grape Juice, which first broke news of the attack, previously reported that the letter said “Die Black fag.”
You will die black fag"
Okay, I'm ready to fight. pic.twitter.com/h42Px47lvW
— Rich Homo Quan (@Homiekage) January 29, 2019
Smollett also talked about other LGBTQ+ people who are affected by violence and the statement that his family released earlier this week.
“As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and gender non-conforming siblings daily,” he wrote. “I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident.”
Earlier this week, Smollett’s family called the actor a “warrior whose light cannot be dimmed” and added, “Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.