Jussie Smollett Breaks Silence on Attack: ‘My Body Is Strong But My Soul Is Stronger’

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Just days after Jussie Smollett was beaten in homophobic and racially motivated attack in Chicago, he’s speaking out about the incident.

In a statement to Essence, the Empire star said, “My body is strong but my soul is stronger.”

On Tuesday morning, the LGBTQ+ activist was attacked by two men after leaving a Subway restaurant. Chicago police confirmed that a noose was found around the actor’s neck and he had an “unknown chemical substance” thrown on him. After suffering injuries, Smollett went to a nearby hospital and was later released.

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The actor's castmates and Hollywood peers spoke out in support of him after he was hospitalized Tuesday.

Smollett confirmed he is “OK” and recovering. “Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” he continued. “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.

“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served,” he added.

“As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process. Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.

He concluded, “With Love, respect & honor… Jussie.”


Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon. (Chuck Hodes/FOX)

Smollett’s statement echoes much of what was expressed in his family’s earlier words. That reads:

“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.

“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.”

Chicago police are currently investigating the crime.