Jussie Smollett Releases First Statement About Chicago Attack | Modern Society of USA

Jussie Smollett Releases First Statement About Chicago Attack

Jussie Smollett Releases First Statement About Chicago Attack

Jussie Smollett, the star of the Fox television show “Empire” who said he had been attacked by two men yelling racial and homophobic slurs, released his first public comments about the incident on Friday.

“Let me start by saying that I’m O.K.,” Smollett said in a statement released by his publicist. “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.”

He went on, acknowledging some social media theories that the attack might not have occurred in the way Smollett said.

“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level,” Smollett said. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”

Smollett, who is black and gay, had reported being attacked in Chicago by two men around 2 a.m. on Tuesday as he was heading back from a late meal to the apartment where he was staying. He said they were wearing masks and yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured some kind of substance on him and put a noose around his neck before fleeing. He was briefly treated at a hospital for cuts on his face and neck.

A spokesman for the Chicago Police, who are treating the case as a possible hate crime, said that investigators had found video of Smollett entering the apartment building with some sort of rope around his neck resembling a noose. On Wednesday, the police said they were searching for two “potential persons of interest” spotted on a surveillance camera in the area where Smollett said the attack occurred. So far, the two people have not been identified.

In addition, the F.B.I. is investigating a threatening letter sent to Smollett at “Empire” production offices last week.

But the lack of progress in the investigation has fueled speculation about whether the report was exaggerated. The president’s son Donald Trump Jr., who is known to disseminate conspiracy theories on his Twitter feed, retweeted an article this week about Smollett declining to turn over his cellphone to the police.

But President Trump himself called the reported attack “horrible” when a reporter asked him about it in the Oval Office on Thursday. “Doesn’t get worse,” the president added.

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