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Jussie Smollett / Twitter

Jussie Smollett Speaks Out Following Attack: ‘Let Me Start By Saying That I’m OK’

Empire star Jussie Smollett, who was attacked on January 29 in an apparent hate crime, has broken his silence with a statement made to Essence.

“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett began. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger.”

He also addressed the reaction that the attack has gained in the following days, adding, “More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words.”

Celebrities like Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, Viola Davis, Shonda Rimes, Laverne Cox, Zendaya and more spoke up on social media to share their support for Smollett, and also to speak out against the racism and homophobia that needs to be addressed in order to prevent further attacks like this one.


We got this @jussiesmollett

A post shared by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on




The Empire actor also said that he is now “working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”

However, Smollett is not only concerned with justice for himself—he drew attention to the prevalence of hate crimes against minorities, the LGBTQ community and the intersections therein. Referencing a similarly powerful statement made by his family on Thursday, he said, “As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident.”

As for now, however, Smollett is rightfully taking some time for himself. “We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process,” he said. “Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.”

We are so glad to see Jussie staying strong after such a traumatic incident, and wish him the best as he recovers and works to bring justice to his attackers.

Erica Kam

Columbia Barnard '21

Erica is an Associate Editor at Her Campus. She was formerly the Contributing Editor (2020-21), Wellness Editor (2019-20), High School Editor (2018-19), and an Editorial Intern (2018). She graduated from Barnard College in 2021 with a degree in English and creative writing, and was the Senior Editor of Her Campus Columbia Barnard (2018-20). When she's not writing or editing (which is rare), she's probably looking at food pictures on Instagram.
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