Jussie Smollett breaks silence after brutal attack
The “Empire” actor is working with police to help bring his assailants to justice.
After several days of countless supporters voicing their concern, Jussie Smollett has checked in with fans to share his first public statement addressing the attack he suffered earlier in the week.
The “Empire” actor says he is “OK” and is working closely with authorities in Chicago to help bring the still-unidentified assailants to justice.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett said in a statement on Friday (Feb. 1). “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 then addressed how news of the viral attack had resulted in some inaccurate accounts of the incident being spread.
“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level,” Smollett added. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”
Investigators have shared images from a surveillance camera depicting two “potential persons of interest” believed to be connected with the attack. Reportedly, there’s also recovered footage of the 35-year-old walking before and after the incident. In the footage of him arriving back to his home, he can be seen with rope hanging around his neck, which was used in the attack along with an “unknown chemical substance.”
Additionally, on Thursday (Jan. 31), Smollett’s family issued a statement commenting on the attack.
“Our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack,” the statement read. “We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime.” The statement added that Smollett had “told the police everything” and noted “his story has never changed.”
The family also explained in their statement that they want “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.”
“As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily,” Smollett concluded. “I am not and 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.”
More on this story it continues to develop.