Empire star Jussie Smollett has spoken publicly for the first time after he was the victim of a racist, homophobic physical attack at the hands of two men this week.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett said in a statement to E! News.
“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.”
The 35-year-old added that he has been providing the authorities with all the information he can in the hope of finding and convicting the two attackers, who are still at large.
“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent 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.”
There was an outpouring of anger and condemnation this week when the news broke that Smollett had been violently attacked while walking alone near his apartment in Chicago at 2AM on Tuesday. The actor was beaten, had an unknown chemical substance poured on him and had a rope put around his neck.
It was later revealed that a week earlier Smollett, an openly gay black man, received racist, homophobic hate mail at the Empire headquarters at Fox news.
The show is on a temporary hiatus as investigations continue.