Jussie Smollett Speaks For The First Time Following Racist And Homophobic Attack
The LGBTQ activist encouraged fans to "lead with love" in the wake of this horrific incident.
The Empire star gave a statement exclusively to Essence and assured fans he's "OK," thanking them for the "outpouring love and support."
"Let me start by saying that I’m OK," Smollet said. "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."
The LGBTQ activist also rebuked claims that he falsified any information and confirmed he is working alongside law enforcement to find the perpetrators who assaulted him.
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"I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level," his comments read. "Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served."
On Thursday, the Smollett family issued a joint statement, reiterating these kinds of ambush attacks occur often and that Jussie's situation is no different from previous reports of Black and LGBTQ individuals falling victim to heinous assaults.
The singer echoed his family's words in his remarks and concluded his comments by encouraging those to "lead with love," in spite of the instances of hate that has troubled the country in recent years.
"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," he wrote. "We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process. 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."
As the investigations continue, a neighbor of Smollett's reportedly recalled a suspicious encounter shortly before he was jumped Monday night as Blavity previously reported. A representative from the Chicago Police Department also announced it had reviewed surveillance footage that may lead to identifying the suspects behind the attack.
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