This is awful. Empire star Jussie Smollett was hospitalized in Chicago on Tuesday, January 29, following an alleged homophobic and racially charged attack, In Touch has learned.
Chicago Police Department confirmed that there is an open investigation for the attack. Chief Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement, “Overnight, the Chicago Police Department received a report of a possible racially-charged assault and battery involving a cast member of the television show Empire. Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime. Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline. The victim is fully cooperating with investigators and we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com.”
According to the police department, the 36-year-old was allegedly approached by two unknown offenders who “gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him.” They then allegedly “battered” Smollett with their hands “about the face” before allegedly pouring “an unknown chemical substance on the victim.” The incident background In Touch reviewed also noted that at one point during the attack, “one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck.”
The attackers reportedly fled the scene. Smollett reportedly self-transported to Northwestern Hospital and is currently in good condition.
An emergency dispatch call was reportedly placed around 2:30 a.m. to responders regarding the attack. Smollett’s friend, who appeared to make the call, reportedly noted that Smollett “was assaulted when he walked out of his apartment,” and the dispatcher noted that a “noose” was allegedly placed over his neck. Thankfully, it sounds like Smollett is doing OK now after such a terrifying incident.
Smollett is probably most well-known for his portrayal of musician Jamal Lyon in the Fox series Empire. He also appeared in the 2017 film Marshall as Langston Hughes and has several other acting and production credits to his name.