'Empire' Actor Jussie Smollett Hospitalized Following Racist, Homophobic Attack

Nerisha Penrose
Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images
Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images


Empire star Jussie Smollett was the victim of an apparent hate crime after he was brutally attacked by two men late Monday night in Chicago.

Smollett was walking alone when two white men wearing ski masks reportedly began yelling homophobic and racist slurs towards the openly-gay actor, who also famously plays a gay character on the hit FOX series Empire. According to a statement released by Chicago Police Department, the two men attacked Smollett and "poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim." TMZ reports that although Smollett attempted to fight back, the men fractured Smollett's rib and tied a noose around his neck, yelling, "This is MAGA country," and fled the scene.

Smollett was transported to Chicago's Northwestern Hospital, where he was treated and discharged early Tuesday morning. According to TheGrapeJuice.net, the attack could be linked to a threatening fan letter Smollett reportedly received sometime last week that reads, "Jussie Smollet You will die black f*g."

Several of Smollett's peers and fans showered the actor with love and support in the wake of the horrific attack, including Empire screenwriter Eric Haywood, Zendaya, Vivica A. Fox, and more.

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