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Empire Actor Jussie Smollett Has Issued His First Public Statement Since Being Attacked in Chicago!

Empire Actor Jussie Smollett Has Issued His First Public Statement Since Being Attacked in Chicago!

by February 1, 2019 0 comments

Jussie???

By: Tommy “Tj” Sotomayor

After news broke Tuesday that Empire actor Jussie Smollett had been brutally assaulted in an alleged hate crime in Chicago, peers, costars, and fans from all corners took to social media to express their support and solidarity, as well as their condemnation of the attack. Now, Smollett has issued his first public statement since he was hospitalized following the attack, in an exclusive first published by Essence.

“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett wrote, per Essence. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger. Most 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 percent factual and consistent on every level,” Smollett went on. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”

According to a police statement released by the Chicago Police Department on Tuesday, Smollett was walking in Chicago when two men “approached him and gained his attention by yelling racial and homophobic slurs”—per TMZ, one said “This is MAGA country,” referencing the Trump campaign slogan, which Smollett later confirmed according to The Washington Post. The two men beat him, “poured an unknown chemical substance” on him, and tied a noose about his neck before they fled; Smollett then brought himself to Northwestern Hospital.

Yesterday, Smollett’s family issued a statement, which his sister, actor Jurnee Smollett-Bellposted to her Instagram: “We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers, and our gender-nonconforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions.” The statement appeared a sharp rebuke to dulled-down descriptions of the attack as “racially charged”—as opposed to, quite simply, racist—in coverage of the attack in the hours and days following the initial report.

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Because there’s a light in him that cannot be dimmed, because we are a family of joyful warriors, we will not let this get the best of us. Although this is a picture from happier times, this is the spirit to which we chose to move forward…they will not steal, our joy. ✊🏽✊🏽✊🏽 ________________________________________________________Statement from our family: “ In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world. With love & gratitude, The Smollett Family”

A post shared by Jurnee Smollett Bell (@jurneebell) on

 

The Empire actor echoed his family’s sentiments in his own statement, adding, “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 has been an outspoken advocate for queer and gender-nonconforming young people as a spokesperson for the Trevor Project, as well as for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief, and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love,” Smollett said. “It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.”