Jussie Smollett 's family has spoken out days after the Empire star was attacked in an alleged hate crime in Chicago.
"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, per 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. 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," the statement continued." 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. 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."
Jussie's family concluded their statement, "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."
The 35-year-old Empire star was brutally attacked in Chicago around 2 AM on Tuesday (January 29) by two men wearing ski masks, TMZ previously reported . Jussie had just arrived to the city from New York and made a late-night run to a Subway when someone yelled: "Aren't you that f**got 'Empire' n**ga?" The two attackers, who have been identified as white males, then proceeded to jump the actor. While he fought back, Jussie was ultimately overtaken by the men. During the attack, the suspects also reportedly put a rope around Jussie's neck, poured bleach on him and yelled, "This is MAGA country." Jussie rib's were fractured and he was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment. He was released soon after.
Sources later told TMZ that the actor had received a disturbing letter, which read: "You will die f**," eight days prior to the attack.
Most recently, the Chicago Police Department has released footage of potential persons of interests in the alleged attack. On Wednesday (January 30), Chicago PD's Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi tweeted photos of two seemingly masked men , wearing all black, while walking near Jussie's home, around the time of his attack . "Photos of people of interest who were in area of the alleged assault & battery of Empire cast member. While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed," the Chief Communications Officer tweeted alongside the images.
Photo: Getty Images