DOWNTOWN — Jussie Smollett said he is “OK” after being attacked in Streeterville earlier this week.
Smollett, speaking for the first time since the attack in a statement to Essence, thanked supporters for their “outpouring of love” in the days since he was beaten and berated with racial and homophobic slurs. The actor stars as Jamal Lyon, the gay son of music moguls, in mega-hit TV series “Empire,” which films in Chicago.
“My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you,” Smollett said, according to Essence. “The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words.”
Smollett was attacked about 2 a.m. Tuesday in the 300 block of East North Lower Water Street, police said.
Police released new details from the incident on Friday.
Smollett told police he was walking back from Subway when two men attacked him near the entrance to Lowes Chicago, said Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago Police spokesman. The men yelled slurs, including “‘Empire’ f—–” and “‘Empire’ n—–,” and hit Smollett.
The men also put a noose around Smollett’s neck and poured something on him. The rope and Smollett’s clothing are being tested to see what was poured on him, Guglielmi said.
After that, Smollett went into the Lowes Chicago, which is seen in a video police have, Guglielmi said. The noose appears to be on Smollett’s neck in that video.
Police were called 30-40 minutes after the attack, Guglielmi said. They talked with Smollett and noted the rope was still around his neck.
Police haven’t found video of the attack yet, Guglielmi said. But Smollett and his manager, Brandon Moore, told investigators they were speaking on the phone right before the attack. Police have asked for the two to turn over their cellphones as part of the investigation but they have not done so yet.
On Thursday, police released security camera stills of “people of interest” in the incident.
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