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Finally, we’re hearing from Jussie Smollett in the wake of what’s been described as a homophobic and racist attack against him earlier this week near his Chicago apartment.
According to a police statement, Smollett, who stars on Fox’s mega hit show, “Empire,” was viciously beaten by two men early Tuesday morning. Police added that a noose was found around the actor’s neck. He was able to transport himself to the hospital after suffering injuries.
In a statement addressed to the “beautiful people,” Smollett not only assured fans that he’s recovering, but that he’s thankful for the mass outpouring of support he’s received over the last few days.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett began in his exclusive statement to 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. ”
Smollett’s situation has not been without controversy. And in his statement, the LGBTQ+ activist and actor also addressed the misinformation that has been circulating about the incident, and dispelling rumors on social media that his story changed.
“I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” Smollett said. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”
He 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 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.”
Smollett signed his statement by writing, “With Love, respect & honor … Jussie.”