(CHICAGO) — Jussie Smollett is speaking out for the first time since allegedly being attacked Tuesday in Chicago, in what police are investigating as a hate crime.
In a statement to ABC News, Smollett assured fans that he’s on the mend, and shared his gratitude.
“Let me start by saying that I’m O.K.,” Smollett began. “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 rumors about the attack.
“I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” he said. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”
Smollett said he shouldn’t be “looked upon as an isolated incident,” since LGBTQ people in general are also targeted.
“We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process,” he said. “During times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love…And that can’t be kicked out of me.”
Jussie’s statement comes a day after his family released a statement condemning the attack.
Friday, Chicago police told ABC’s WLS-TV they have “identified two potential persons of interest.” While they haven’t officially confirmed the attack, they say Smollett is being cooperative, and added, “We have no reason at this point to think he’s not being genuine with us.”
Smollett says he was attacked by two men who hurled racial and homophobic epithets at him, threw an unknown substance on him and put a rope around his neck, while using the phrase “MAGA country.”
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