Empire star Jussie Smollett was attacked in Chicago last night by two men wearing ski masks and red MAGA hats who yelled “Aren’t you that f***ot ‘Empire’ n*****?” They then beat him, fracturing a rib, put a rope around his neck, and poured bleach on him, all the while screaming, “This is MAGA country.”
According to TMZ: Jussie was able to get himself to Northwestern Memorial where he was treated. He was discharged later Tuesday morning.
It’s probably no coincidence that eight days ago, a letter was sent to Jussie at Fox Studios in Chicago with cut out letters spelling, “You will die black fa**ot”
Here are some TMZ updates:
11:10 AM PT — “Empire” creator Lee Daniels just expressed his outrage and horror over the attack.
11:18 AM PT — We’re told cops recently visited a Target Department Store close to where the incident happened and obtained surveillance footage. Our source says the video shows one person — presumably Jussie — walking down the street. Officers also visited a nearby apartment building to ask for video.
11:20 AM PT — Law enforcement sources tell us the FBI was already investigating the letter sent to Jussie last week containing racist and homophobic slurs.
11:10 AM PT — Fox just issued this statement … “We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night. We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”
10:30 AM PT — “Empire” staff held an emergency meeting Tuesday morning in Chicago to tell everyone what happened to Jussie. We’re told the cast and crew were extremely upset. Several actors were already in their trailers getting ready to shoot when they got the news.
We’re told there was a discussion about getting extra security on set while shooting. They have a handful of episodes left to shoot for the current season.
(via TMZ; photo: Avalon)