LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - Jussie Smollett the actor most famous for playing Jamal Lyon on FOX's Empire was reportedly attacked early Tuesday morning in what police are investigating as a possible hate crime.
Investigators say it happened around 2 a.m. Tuesday in the Chicago Loop. Smollett was reportedly punched in the face repeatedly before the attackers tied a rope around his neck.
Smollett had just flown back New York after being delayed several hours for weather. While walking to get food, friends say he was attacked by two suspects yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him. They also are alleged to have yelled, “This is MAGA country.”
The police report details how Smollett was punched in the face multiple times and had an unknown chemical substance poured on him. Friends believe it was bleach. Chicago PD collected the clothing as evidence.
Police say at some point during the incident, one of the suspects tied a rope around Smollett’s neck, similar to a noose. The offenders fled the scene.
Coincidentally, Jussie was on MSNBC Sunday where he briefly talked about President Trump while discussing HBCU funding alongside his sister Jazz Smollett. It was a brief mention, and it’s unclear if it has any connection to the attack.
Smollett received hate mail last week, mailed to Fox Studios in Chicago. It had cut-out letters that read, “You will die,” with a homophobic slur.
20th Century Fox and Fox Entertainment company released a statement saying the studio is outraged.
“We will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stand united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”
Smollett was treated at Northwestern Hospital and was released Tuesday morning.
He is scheduled to perform Saturday night in West Hollywood at Troubadour.