‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett assaulted in Chicago in potential hate crime

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Jussie Smollett, a black, overtly gay actor biggest acknowledged for his work in Fox’s “Empire,” was assaulted in Chicago by two people carrying a noose and an unidentified “chemical substance” in what police are calling a “possible racially charged assault and battery.”

Smollett, 35, was strolling in the 300 block of East North Lower Water Street about 2 a.m. native time on Tuesday “when two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him,” the Chicago Police Department talked about in an announcement to The Washington Post. “The offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim.”

The police could not confirm the gender of the offenders or set up the chemical substance.

“At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victims neck,” the assertion talked about.

Eventually the offenders fled, and Smollett transported himself to Northwestern Hospital “and is in good condition.”

TMZ reported that Smollett was discharged this morning. The hospital could not confirm this component nonetheless instructed The Post that Smollett simply is not presently a affected individual.

“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” police talked about.

Fox launched an announcement Tuesday in assist of the actor. “We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night. We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”

Smollett’s publicist did not immediately reply to The Post’s request for comment.

Smollett began his occupation as a toddler actor alongside along with his siblings, who embody actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell. He is biggest acknowledged for participating in Jamal Lyon on “Empire.” The character is a gay R&B musician who has confronted homophobic criticism from his mogul father.

The character struggled alongside along with his sexuality sooner than coming out in a buzzed-about Season 1 episode. The plot progress led to widespread speculation about Smollett’s sexuality. A month later, Smollett appeared on the TV current “Ellen,” when he confirmed he is gay.

“It was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet, there’s never been a closet that I’ve been in,” he instructed TV host Ellen DeGeneres. “I don’t have a closet. But I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home. So that’s why I choose not to talk about my personal life. But there is, without a doubt, no closet I’ve ever been in. And I just wanted to make that clear.”

He further instantly addressed his sexuality in a 2016 interview with Out journal. Though Smollett talked about he was open to falling in love with anyone, he identifies as a gay man.

“I am a gay man. I am a gay man. I am a gay man. I don’t know how many times I have to say that,” he instructed the journal.

As info of his assault unfold Tuesday, Smollett obtained statements of assist from LGBTQ advocacy organizations he has labored with by means of the years.

“Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world,” GLAAD talked about in an announcement.

“This shocking attack on our friend and tremendous advocate Jussie Smollett is, unfortunately, not an isolated incident,” talked about Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “There is an alarming epidemic of hate violence in our country that disproportionately targets Black people, LGBTQ people, and religious minorities — and particularly those living at the intersections of multiple identities.”

Last 12 months, the FBI talked about there was a 17 p.c improve in hate crimes in 2017 — the third consecutive 12 months such crimes elevated. Of the 7,175 hate crimes reported by United States regulation enforcement firms, 2,013 incidents centered black Americans. 1,130 hate crimes involved people who had been centered based on their sexual orientation.

Messages of assist from followers and fellow celebrities for Smollett poured out on Twitter as a result of the data unfolded Tuesday.



Lee Daniels, who co-created “Empire” with Danny Strong, posted a heartfelt and expletive-laden video on Instagram.

“It’s taken me a minute to come to social media about this, because Jussie, you are my son,” Daniels talked about. “You didn’t deserve, nor anybody deserves, to have a noose put spherical your neck . . . You are greater than that. We are greater than that. America is more healthy than that. It begins at dwelling. It begins at dwelling, yo. We have to love each other it doesn’t matter what sexual orientation we’re. Because it reveals we’re united on a united entrance.”

Strong, in the meantime, wrote that he is “deeply horrified and saddened by the racist and homophobic assaults.”

Smollett “is a form and profoundly proficient soul whom I respect with all my coronary heart. The terror of racism and homophobia has no place in our society, it’s the most indecent solution to dwell,” Strong tweeted. “Whoever did this, do not forget that you are nothing but hate filled cowards while Jussie’s talent and activism will continue to shine a bright light on to the world for decades to come.”


“We ALL have a responsibility to rise up against the ignorance and hate out there. If you know who did this . . . REPORT THEM TO THE POLICE,” tweeted “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes.

“Grey’s Anatomy” actress Caterina Scorsone despatched “love and healing” to the actor: “We must tirelessly teach our children about the dignity and sacredness of each and every human being so that this kind of insanity ends. Hate destroys us from within. Teach them to love. It’s on us.”

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