‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett assaulted in Chicago in suspected hate crime

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Empire” star Jussie Smollett was hospitalized early Tuesday following an assault in Chicago in what is described as a possible hate crime, Variety has confirmed.

According to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department, Smollett was beaten by two men who approached him by yelling out “racial and homophobic slurs” at approximately 2 a.m. Tuesday morning in the 300 block of E. North Water Street. They proceeded to assault Smollett and “poured an unknown chemical substance” on him.

The two men are also said to have put a rope around Smollett’s neck before fleeing on foot. Smollett then transported himself to an area hospital and is described as being in “good condition.”

Smollett was in Chicago ahead of a concert he was set to perform on Saturday. He had posted on Instagram late Monday night saying he had arrived in the city “after spending 7 hours on a plane for a 2 hour flight.” According to TMZ, Smollett had gone out for food after landing when the assault occurred.

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GLAAD released a statement on the incident, saying, “GLAAD reached out to Fox and Jussie’s team today to offer assistance as well as support for him. Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world.”

Smollett received rave reviews for his breakout role as Jamal Lyon on “Empire.” The character publicly came out as gay during the show’s record-breaking first season. Smollett himself came out during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in 2015.

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