Jussie Smollett releases a statement to Essence this morning after being attacked Tuesday morning in Chicago, the attack looks to be a hate crime.

The “Empire” actor started his statement to Essence with a simple, ” I’m OK”. He begins then to thank the “beautiful people” for all the love and support he has relieved through social media since the attack. “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.”

In the statement Smollett also addresses the rumors that are circulating regarding the attack saying, “I am working with authorities and have been 100% 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.” Jussie also reminds us to isolate his situation and that this is not a rare occurrence.

He concludes his statement with a strong message, “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.”

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Because there’s a light in him that cannot be dimmed, because we are a family of joyful warriors, we will not let this get the best of us. Although this is a picture from happier times, this is the spirit to which we chose to move forward…they will not steal, our joy. ✊🏽✊🏽✊🏽 ________________________________________________________Statement from our family: “ 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”

A post shared by Jurnee Smollett Bell (@jurneebell) on

In a statement released Thursday, Smollet’s family states a very similar message to Jussie’s and that they are standing by him. The family concluded their statement with hope for the future, “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.”

Ariana Ramanand
arianaramanand15@gmail.com

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