Earlier this week, Empire star Jussie Smollett found himself at the center of a horrific, violent situation, as the actor was attacked by two men who threw racist and homophobic remarks his way before putting a rope around his neck (an obvious reference to lynching) and pouring a chemical substance on him. He was hospitalized following the attack, but has since been released and is on the mend.
For the first time today, Smollett has released a statement — in part to update everyone regarding his condition, but also to dispel the notion that he has changed his story about the night of the attack. There have been some skewed accounts, either accidental or deliberate, online that have tried to misrepresent his story and his comments to police. This is Smollett trying to set the record straight and make it abundantly clear as to precisely what transpired with him.
Take a look at the full statement, via Essence, at the bottom of this article:
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. I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served. 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. 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.
We remain horrified regarding precisely what happened to Smollett but are also grateful that he is taking the proper time to make sure that his mind and body are right after what happened. We know that there are understandably millions of people interested in hearing from him, but he has an understanding that what matters most at the moment is that he is okay.
Jussie could return to filming Empire next week; the series will return to Fox with new episodes this spring, and the show has already brought on additional security around its Chicago set following the incident. They’ve also brought on counseling to help those in need.
What do you think of what Smollett had to say in this statement? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: Fox.)