“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett said in his statement to Essence. “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 also affirmed that he is telling an accurate account of the incident to authorities, despite accusations on social media that his story has changed. “I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”
Further, he noted that he believes this homophobic attack is part of a broader trend. “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.”
He concluded, “Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.”
The 36-year-old actor reportedly was attacked by two men wearing ski masks around 2:00 a.m. local time outside of a Subway restaurant. They asked if he was “that f***ot Empire n*****?” and attacked him with a rope and bleach. As they fled the scene they allegedly yelled, “This is MAGA country!”
Chicago police are currently asking for the public to help identify potential persons of interest in the attack.
His family’s statement, released yesterday on Instagram, is below.