Jussie Smollett attack: Empire star in hospital after suspected racist and homophobic assault

'At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck'

Clémence Michallon
New York
Wednesday 30 January 2019 08:20 GMT
Jussie Smollett attends the Trevor Project's TrevorLIVE LA 2018 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on 3 December, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
Jussie Smollett attends the Trevor Project's TrevorLIVE LA 2018 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on 3 December, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.

Actor Jussie Smollett was admitted to hospital following an attack that is being described as a possible hate crime.

The musician and Empire star was approached by two men who yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him at approximately 2am on Tuesday, according to a police statement provided to The Independent.

“The offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim,” the statement reads.

“At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck.”

The offenders fled the scene and Smollett, 36 took himself to Northwestern Hospital, according to the statement (which does not name Smollett but makes mention of a 36-year-old member of the Empire cast).

Smollett is now in “good condition”, according to the police.

Authorities are treating the attack as “a possible hate crime” and have asked anyone with information to contact the police at 312-747-8382 or www.cpdtip.com.

Police say the incident happened on the 300 block of E North Lower Water Street in Chicago.

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Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon in Empire, has publicly identified as gay, telling Out magazine in 2016: ”I am a gay man with an extremely open heart.”

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