Smollett Family Responds to Attack: “Jussie Is a Warrior Whose Light Cannot Be Dimmed”

"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."

The Smollett Family has released a statement in the wake of the attack on Jussie Smollett earlier this week:

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. 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. 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. 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.

With love & gratitude,

The Smollett Family

Sources say Smollett arrived in Chicago and stopped by a Subway around 2am Tuesday morning. Upon leaving he was accosted by two strangers yelling racist and homophobic slurs. They attacked him, tied a rope around his neck, and doused him with bleach. The 36-year-old singer and actor fought back but suffered a fractured rib during the encounter.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Police Department released a screenshot from a surveillance video of two persons of interest in connection with the attack on Smollett, which they are treating as a potential hate crime.

Despite the attack, Smollett will still perform as scheduled on Saturday at a sold-out show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is an LA-based writer, editor, bon vivant, and all-around sassbag. He's formerly Senior Editor of Out Magazine and is currently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat