There has been a lot of information and misinformation surrounding the attack on Jussie Smollett that police are investigating as a probable hate crime.
At the time of the attack, Jussie was speaking on the phone with his manager. It was reported that Smollett was refusing to turn over his phone records to police.
According to TMZ, that is not the case. He was “informally asked” Jussie if he would surrender his phone … to verify he was talking to his manager on his cell when he was attacked.
Smollett was apparently “uncomfortable” doing that and declined, but he was never asked about phone records.
Another error in reporting has been that the two assailants were wearing MAGA hats. That is not the case, they screamed “MAGA country.”[irp posts=”5976″ name=”Empire Star Jussie Smollett Recovering After Homophobic Attack in Chicago”]
Reports also indicated that the Empire actor had the rope around his neck long after the incident when he was being treated at the hospital. That is not true as well.
He did keep the rope around his neck until the police arrived at his friend’s apartment, 42 minutes after the incident occurred. He kept the rope on so that he could “preserve the evidence.”
TMZ has also reported that a woman, who lives in Smollett’s apartment building, allegedly told police of a man “loitering” outside the building’s entrance before the attack.
The woman told TMZ that she had gone out to walk her dogs when she saw the man whom she said “looked out of place” and was hanging around the building by its entrance and the parking garage.
She then described the man in detail to the outlet, including all the clothing he was wearing. She then stated she saw what “looked like a rope or a clothesline” coming out of his sweatshirt.
The woman also noted there was another man in the area as well.
Smollett was attacked by two men who called him racial and homophobic slurs, poured a chemical on him, and placed a rope around his neck. Both attackers fled the scene after the incident.
Smollett’s family has also released a statement on the attack:
“In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive.”
“Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable.”
“Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.”