'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Violently Attacked In Apparent Hate Crime in Chicago

Jussie Smollett was hospitalized after a violent and vicious attack in Chicago early Tuesday morning. 

According to TMZ, the 36-year old Empire star arrived in Chicago late Monday night to start filming the new season of the hit series. Around 2 a.m., he stepped out of his home for a bite to eat. He was then attacked by two unknown men – both described as white and wearing ski masks. They caught Jussie’s attention by yelling homophobic and racist slurs at him.

They reportedly began to beat him with their hands, fracturing one of his ribs, and poured an unknown chemical on him, which is believed to be bleach. At some point, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around Jussie’s neck.

Jussie reportedly took himself to Northwestern Hospital. Here is the official report released by the Chicago Police Department.


Fortunately, Jussie is physically okay “with some scrapes and bruises, but he’s more emotionally shook up,” a source connected to Jussie told ET. He was discharged from the hospital later the same day. 

In addition, a disturbing letter, addressed to Jussie, was sent to Fox Studios in Chicago eight days ago, according to ThatGrapeJuice.Net. The letter was pieced together using cut-out letters that spelled out “You will die black f**.”  

The Chicago PD has confirmed that they are investigating the attack as a potential hate crime. Detectives are working on finding a video of the incident, identifying witnesses, and establishing a timeline. 

Fox Studios has already reacted to the news of the assault: “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.” 

Jussie’s co-star, Lee Daniels, has also spoken out about the assault. “We have to love each other,” he says in a powerful Instagram video addressed to Jussie. “It’s just another f****** day in America.” Check out the rest of the video below:



We got this @jussiesmollett 🌈👊🏾👊🏾

A post shared by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on

Our thoughts are with you, Jussie. Stay strong.