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‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett allegedly attacked in possible hate crime

Jussie Smollett

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is in good condition after being hospitalized in Chicago following an assault by two men who attacked him, yelled “racial and homophobic slurs,” and wrapped a rope around his neck, police said. Photo: FBC.

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is in good condition after being hospitalized in Chicago following an alleged assault by two men who attacked him, yelled “racial and homophobic slurs,” and wrapped a rope around his neck, police said.

The Chicago Police Department said in a statement that it’s investigating the alleged attack as a possible hate crime.

Chicago police didn’t identify Smollett in their statement. Numerous media outlets have identified Smollett as the victim. Smollett hasn’t commented on the alleged attack on his social media. His last post mentioned he was in Chicago and the cold weather is brutal.

 

Smollett’s publicist could not be reached for comment.

Smollett came out as gay in 2015 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.Smollett headlined Long Beach Pride last year.

On “Empire,” Smollett plays Jamal Lyon, a gay musician.

Smollett, 36, was walking in the Streeterville neighborhood approximately 2 a.m. Tuesday when two unknown men yelled the slurs and then began to hit Smollett in the face, police said.

They also poured an unknown chemical on Smollett, and at some point, one of the men wrapped a rope around Smollett’s neck, police.

The suspects eventually fled, and Smollett, who is cooperating with investigators, drove himself to Northwestern Hospital, police said.

It’s unclear if Smollett is still hospitalized.

Detectives are searching for video and potential witnesses.

Anyone with information about this incident can  contact Chicago Police Department central detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously at www.cpdtip.com.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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