In his first public statement since the reported homophobic and racist attack in Chicago, "Empire" star Jussie Smollett provided a written statement to Essence magazine, thanking fans and attempting to dispel doubts and rumors questioning the integrity of his story.
Here's what's he said:
- “Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett began in his statement. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words. ”
- Smollett also addressed the misinformation that has been circulating about the incident, and dispelling rumors on social media that his story changed. “I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served. ”
- “As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process,” he concluded. “Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.”
- Smollett signed his statement by writing, “With Love, respect & honor…Jussie.”