‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett hospitalized after possible racial, homophobic attack
“Empire” star Jussie Smollett was brutally attacked in an apparent hate crime so violent he had to be hospitalized, TMZ reported.
At around 2 a.m. Tuesday in Chicago, two men wearing ski masks placed a noose around Jussie’s neck during the attack, Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told to Us Weekly. The offenders struck him in the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.
Chicago Police are investigating the incident as a battery.
“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” Guglielmi told US Weekly. “Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline.
Smollett was admitted and treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and later released.
According to ThatGrapeJuice.Net, which was first to report the news, Smollett received a threatening letter days before the incident that read, “You will die black f-g.”
The actor confirmed he’s gay in 2015 during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres.
Smollett has starred on Fox’s “Empire” since 2015. He plays Jamal, a successful singer in the musical Lyon family. Like his character, Smollett identifies as gay.
A representative for GLAAD told CNN the organization has reached out Smollett to offer assistance and support.
“Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world,” a GLAAD spokesperson said in a statement.