"Empire" star Jussie Smollett was brutally attacked i n what’s being called hate crime late Monday night. And while it appeared to have the markers of something more randomly evil, there's at least the possibility that Smollett was actually targeted. It seems the incident happened about a week after a letter was sent to Fox Studios in Chicago. The cutout-lettered message - naming him - said, “You will die Black fag.” Fast forward to Monday night.
Jussie was hungry after getting in late from a trip to New York City. He stepped out at 2am to go to a Subway. That’s when he says he was approached by two White men in ski masks who yelled out, “Aren’t you that faggot ‘Empire ’ nigger?” Then, the beatdown began. The two men proceeded to beat him so viciously that they fractured his rib, they also put a noose around his neck, poured bleach on him, and screamed, “This is MAGA country,” as they fled.
Jussie ran for help - and managed to get himself to Northwestern Memorial where he was treated and released yesterday. According to police sources, he still had the noose on when they interviewed him at the hospital just before 3am. Police are currently canvassing the area for witnesses and possible video footage. The investigation continues.
- The Chicago PD issued the following statement – “Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime.” They’re currently gathering security footage since the incident reported happened near a Target Department Store. Also, the FBI was already investigating last week’s letter.
- Fox Network also released a statement that they stand united in support of Jussie, and “will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice.” Moving forward, main cast members will have armed security while “Empire “continues filming.
- Naturally, everyone is up in arms. Both Steve Harvey and Lee Daniels posted video responses to this horrible tragedy. Steve said that it wasn’t about sexual preference. Instead, “It’s about coming to the aid of another brother that has tasted the brutality of hatred, racism, and bigotry.” Lee, calling Jussie his 'son,' said that he didn’t deserve to be treated that way and that "America is better than that."