Jussie Smollett speaks about ‘racist and homophobic’ attack for first time


Empire actor Jussie Smollett says he’s doing “ok” after being attacked in Chicago.

It’s the first time the 35-year-old has spoken about what happened.

Police are searching for two people who punched him, poured an “unknown chemical substance” over him and put a rope around his neck.

In a statement, he has thanked fans for their support and says that love “can’t be kicked out of me”.

“Let me start by saying that I’m ok,” he says.

“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.”

Jussie has told police his attackers also made reference to “MAGA” (Make America Great Again).

The slogan was used by Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

Police are investigating whether the actor was the victim of a hate crime.

While Jussie’s had a huge amount of support, others have questioned his version of what happened.

The actress Ellen Page spoke about the case on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert – criticising some of the media for questioning whether it should be treated as a hate crime.

“It’s absurd. This isn’t a debate,” she says.

“I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” Jussie insists.

“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.”

The actor says he will give more details about the “horrific incident” but first needs 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.”