the actor was targeted
by racist and
during 2 a.m.
CNN is reporting that Empire star Jussie Smollett was viciously attacked in the early Tuesday morning in what Chicago police are calling a possible hate crime.
The 35-year-old actor has starred on the hit Fox series, which is filmed in Chicago, since 2015. He plays Jamal Lyons, a successful singer in the musical family. Like his character, Smollett identifies as gay.
According to police, sources directly connected to Jussie told TMZ, that the actor arrived in Chicago from New York late Monday, and at around 2 AM he was hungry and went to a Subway.
As he was walking on the 300 block of East Lower Water Street, someone then allegedly yelled, “Aren’t you that f***ot ‘Empire’ n*****?”
The two attackers — who are described as both white and wearing ski masks — beat Smollett badly and fractured a rib. They then put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they yelled, “This is MAGA country.”
He was taken to Northwestern Memorial where he was treated. He was discharged later Tuesday morning.
“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” the police statement said.
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.
Fox issued a statement which says, “We are deeply saddened and outraged. 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.”
According to TMZ, ThatGrapeJuice.Net first posted this letter which was sent to Fox Studios in Chicago with cut out letters spelling, “You will die black f**.” Our sources say the letter was sent 8 days ago.
Anyone with information is asked to call Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382.
Reel Chicago is horrified by this attack and wishes Jussie and his family a speedy recovery.