Race & Identity
Smollett Family Speaks Out For The First Time Since Jussie Smollett Attack, Responds To Those Say Assault Was A Hoax
The attackers have not been caught.
The Smollett family released a statement two days after Jussie Smollett was the victim of a hate crime.
In a statement provided to USA Today, the Smolletts seemed to address those critics who claim the Empire star is not telling the whole truth.
"We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime," the family wrote. "Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice."
The Smolletts also expressed their gratitude for the goodwill they've received: "Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time.”
The actor told police his assailants hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him during the attack, and that they also yelled "MAGA country" at him. His relatives addressed this as well, calling for compassion.
"Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.”
Finally, the Smolletts also asked everyone to remember the actor isn't the only victim of hate crimes.
“We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country," the statement read. "Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable."
The incident is still under investigation. The Chicago Police Department released photos of two persons of interest on Thursday, as Blavity previously reported. One of Smollett’s neighbors said she witnessed a “redneck” loitering near their building with a rope shortly before the attack occurred.
Smollett still had a rope around his neck when police officers found him following the attack. The Empire star was also beaten and doused with bleach during the attack. He was treated at a local hospital and released in good condition.
The assailants are still at large.
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