“Empire” Actor Jussie Smollett Comes Out To Ellen: “There’s Never Been A Closet”


In a recent backstage interview with Ellen Degeneres, Empire star Jussie Smollett confirmed that he is indeed gay

Smollett, who plays gay musician Jamal on the red-hot Fox drama, had been steadfastly opaque about his sexuality, even after his co-star Malik Yoba essentially outed him in an interview.

While Smollett did not address the subject during his on-air Ellen segment, he asked if they could film a second segment backstage, telling her that she has been an inspiration for him.

Related: Jamal Sings “You’re So Beautiful”—And Comes Out Publicly—On “Empire”

“It was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet,” said the 31-year-old actor. “There’s never been a closet. That I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don’t have a closet, but I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home.”

He also clarified why he remained silent up until this point: “Let’s not read into it the wrong way when I say that I don’t talk about my personal life, I’m saying that. But it is in no way to hide or deny who God made me. Ya know?”

Smollett even went so far as to confirm his homosexuality with a choice fun fact: “My mama knows,” he said. “My Mama likes me a lot. And yes I take her to the Sound of Music sing-along every, single year. So, any questions?”

He finished the interview in typically eloquent style, stating, “You know honestly, we’re humans and we love and we do all that good stuff. So I’m honored for this opportunity and I’m honored to be here with you.”

We’re honored to have you, Jussie!

Watch the backstage clip below.

h/t Just Jared