Actor Jussie Smollett broke his silence about the homophobic attack that allegedly occurred early Tuesday in Chicago. In an exclusive statement to ESSENCE magazine Smollett thanked his fans for their outpouring of support.
The Empire star claims he was beaten by two masked men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him after leaving a Subway restaurant.
Chicago police pored over hundreds of hours of video footage in the Streeterville neighborhood but they were unable to find any signs of the alleged attack.
In an exclusive statement to ESSENCE, Smollett, 36, said, “Let me start by saying that I’m OK. 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 also addressed the misinformation that has been circulating on social media, including Chicago investigators saying the actor and his manager refused to turn over their phones to confirm their statements that they spoke by phone during the alleged attack.
“I’m working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” he 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 continued: “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.”
Smollett concluded his statement by signing, “With Love, respect & honor… Jussie.”