'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett 'Shaken' After Homophobic, Racist Attack

Jussie Smollett is recovering from a terrifying homophobic and racist attack in Chicago.

The Empire star was hospitalized after the altercation, where two men in ski masks allegedly put a noose around his neck and hit him repeatedly after yelling homophobic and racial slurs at him.

"Jussie tried to protect himself and at one point the men poured a substance on him believed to be bleach and one of the guys put a rope around his neck," a source told Entertainment Tonight of the incident. "After some time the men fled the scene and Jussie went to the hospital."

"Jussie is mostly physically O.K. with some scrapes and bruises, but he's more emotionally shook up," they added.

The report by the outlet reveals that Chicago Police visited a nearby Subway restaurant searching for surveillance footage of the attack. The restaurant is located about four to five minutes away from the Loews Hotel where Smollett was reportedly staying.

The actor transported himself to Northwestern Hospital after the attack and has been released. The Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told press in a statement that the investigation on the attack is currently underway and is being treated as a "possible hate crime."

"Overnight, the Chicago Police Department received a report of a possible racially-charged assault and battery involving a cast member of the television show Empire," the statement read. "Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime. Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline. The victim is fully cooperating with investigators and we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com."

Smollett has not spoken publicly on the attack so far, though many celebrities have sent him messages of support on social media.

Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo posted a long supportive message to Smollet on her Instagram, sending him her love and support.

"Sending [Jussie Smollett] all of my love and support today and every day. No one can dim your light," she wrote, along with a photo of the actor and singer. "To all of my fans I beg of you... speak up..be courageous ..if you hear hateful language ...racist language ..homophobic language ...please be the warriors I need you to be."


"The world needs you to be. Scream from the rooftops get loud..stand for something ...stand for LOVE. These punks ...these haters ...who are filled with fear and insecurity who continue to spread hate and violence in the name of this administration must be called out at every turn," she added, referring to reports the attackers screamed "This is MAGA country" as they ran away from the scene.

She ended her post writing: "What kind of person do you want to be? Someone who has something to say and fights for the human race who believes in their personal power? Or a follower with no conviction no opinion and filled with fear yourself. Ask yourself who do I want to be? Haters are really not what's up."