Actor Jussie Smollett is speaking out in the aftermath of an attack reported to Chicago police in January 2019. The Empire star said that two people assaulted him in Chicago while shouting racist and homophobic slurs, and even put a noose around his neck.
Smollett was hospitalized after the incident and police in Chicago said they were going to investigate the matter as a possible hate crime. Now Smollett says he’s recovering, but he’s upset about the reaction many people have had to his ordeal. Theories about the incident have cast doubt on Smollett’s claims, or even claimed the story was “probably a hoax”.
In light of that, Smollett appeared frustrated, to say the least.
“I’m pissed off,” Smollett said to ABC’s Robin Roberts. When asked about what, he said, “Attackers, but it’s also the attacks.” He elaborated:
It’s like, you know, at first, it was a thing of, like, “Listen, if I tell the truth then that’s it, ’cause it’s the truth.” Then it became a thing of like, “Oh, how can you doubt that?” Like, how do you– how do you not believe that? It’s the truth. And then it became a thing of like, “Oh, it’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth.”
Choreographer Frank Gatson told People that he was with Smollett after the incident and that he was the one who called 911 and took Smollett to the hospital.
“That was a scary night,” Gatson said.
Police have yet to identify suspects, but have continued to investigate the matter.
The full interview with Smollett will air on ABC’s Good Morning America Thursday morning.
[Image via ABC screengrab]