CHICAGO — Jussie Smollett was attacked last night in a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago.
The attack has been reported widely but the story was broken by TMZ:
“Empire” star Jussie Smollett was brutally attacked by 2 men who beat him up, put his head in a noose and screamed, “This is MAGA country.”
Sources directly connected to Jussie tell TMZ, the actor arrived in Chicago from New York late Monday, and at around 2 AM he was hungry and went to a Subway. We’re told when shortly after he walked out on his way home, someone yelled, “Aren’t you that f***ot ‘Empire’ n*****?”
The 2 men — both white and wearing ski masks — viciously attacked Jussie as he fought back, but they beat him badly and fractured a rib. They put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they yelled, “This is MAGA country.”
Jussie took himself to Northwestern Memorial where he was treated. He was discharged later Tuesday morning.
By early afternoon, TMZ reported that the main cast of “Empire” will have armed security from now on.
Representatives for 20th Century Fox, which produces the show, told Buzzfeed they were “deeply saddened and outraged” about the attack.
Police are investigating, according to a Chicago Police Department spokesman:
Statement on #ChicagoPolice hate crime investigation. We are taking these allegations very seriously and encourage anyone with information to report anonymously to https://t.co/yYAqzcVIfu pic.twitter.com/DxipALHXaz
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) January 29, 2019
“This shocking attack on our friend and tremendous advocate Jussie Smollett is, unfortunately, not an isolated incident,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said. “There is an alarming epidemic of hate violence in our country that disproportionately targets Black people, LGBTQ people, and religious minorities — and particularly those living at the intersections of multiple identities.”
ABC News reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking over the investigation as of Tuesday afternoon after it was confirmed Smollett had received a homophobic threat in the mail.
Updated with response from HRC and new information from ABC