Jussie Smollett's Family Speak out in Wake of 'Cowardly' Attack

Jussie Smollett's family has broken their silence following the racist and homophobic attack on the Empire star earlier this week.

On Thursday, just three days after Smollett was attacked by two masked men while exiting a Subway restaurant in Chicago during the early morning hours, his family is speaking out against the "cowardly" crime that left the actor hospitalized.

"In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack," the family said in a statement to PEOPLE.

"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," the statement continues. "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," Smollett's family added.

"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," they concluded. "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. With love & gratitude, The Smollett Family."

According to reports, Smollett alleged that he was approached by his attackers, who were yelling racial and homophobic slurs, at around 2 a.m. They then proceeded to assault him and pour an unknown chemical substance, believed to be bleach, on him before wrapping a rope around his neck.


In their efforts to identify the suspects, the Chicago Police Department scoured surveillance footage from cameras nearby and announced Wednesday that their search had been successful. Alongside two photos of the persons of interest, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi wrote that "detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed."

Smollett has not yet spoken out regarding the incident.