First Photo of Beaten 'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Surfaces Following Attack

The first photo of Empire star Jussie Smollett, revealing his beaten face following an apparent hate crime attack, has surfaced.

According to The Blast, who published the photo, it was shared by Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, and depicts Smollett laying in a hospital bed with a cut underneath his right eye.

Until now, the public has not seen the extent of how the attack left Smollett, and thankfully his injuries are not worse.

The actor was violently attacked while in Chicago this week, telling police that men in masks beat him, poured bleach on him, and then left him with a noose tied around his neck.

Daniels initially spoke out against the crime — which is suspected to have been fueled by the fact that Smollett is a gay black man — saying, "Nor anybody deserves to have a noose put around your neck … to have bleach thrown on you," and then adding, "You are better than that … we are better than that … America is better than that."

20th Century Fox, the network that produces and airs Empire, also provided a statement on the alleged hate crime.

"We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night," the statement read. "We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice."

Smollett's co-star Terrence Howard has also commented on the attack, telling Good Morning America that Smollett is obviously upset, but that he believes his on-screen son is incredibly resilient.

"I heard he's getting better. You know, he's angry," Howard said. "But I know Jussie. Jussie's anger will dissipate and he will forgive these people for what they did. But he won't, and we cannot, forget their actions. They have to be forgiven because it was done out of ignorance."

"Jussie's the one that starts singing when everybody's in a bad mood," Howard went on to say. "He's the one that cheers everybody up. He's the one that does all the Instagrams if he catches you sleeping. Today, no one was caught sleeping. No one even took time to close their eyes and nap. They were all in shock that our family — you know, the Fox family, the Empire family, the Lyon family — were attacked by a bunch of hyenas today."


Smollett does not appear to have publicly commented on the attack at this time.