Jussie Smollett Says ‘I’m OK’ After Racist, Homophobic Attack

Jussie Smollett Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Jussie Smollett has given his first public statement since being hospitalized after a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago late Monday night. “Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” the Empire actor said in a 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.” The Chicago police are currently investigating the attack, during which two people beat up Smollett, used racist and homophobic language, put his neck in a rope, and threw a chemical substance on him, as a possible hate crime. According to reporters, Smollett and his manager Brandon Z. Moore, who said he was on the phone with the actor, heard the assailants yell “MAGA country” during the attack. According to the police, they have not given over their phone records. “I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” Smollett told Essence. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served. ”

After the attack Smollett’s family put out a statement referring to the attack as a “racial and homophobic hate crime,” which too often targets “many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities.” “As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily,” Smollett told Essence. “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.”

Jussie Smollett Says ‘I’m OK’ After Racist Homophobic Attack