JUSSIE Smollett’s family have called the attack on him “racist, homophobic and domestic terrorism”.
The Empire actor, who plays gay singer Jamal Lyon, was attacked by two men in downtown Chicago earlier this week, leaving him with a series of injuries.
The Sun reports his family have now released a statement on the incident and pushed back against any suggestion that he was anything but honest with the police.
It reads: “This was a racial, homophobic hate crime … We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings.”
They continued: “These are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such.”
“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 family said.
Detectives have recovered more surveillance footage of Smollett walking home from a Subway restaurant that morning, including video of him arriving at his apartment building with a rope around his neck, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielma.
Smollett told police that two masked men jumped him on his walk home at around 2am on Tuesday. He said they punched him, subjected him to racist and homophobic insults, threw an “unknown chemical substance” on him and put a thin rope around his neck before fleeing.
Detectives, who are investigating the case as a possible hate crime, have watched hundreds of hours of footage from private and public surveillance cameras, but gaps remain and they still haven’t seen video of the attack or men who match Smollett’s description of his assailants, Guglielmi said.
Reports of the attack drew a flood of outrage and support for Smollett on social media.
Some of the outrage stemmed from Smollett’s account to detectives that his attackers yelled that he was in “MAGA country,” an apparent reference to the Trump campaign’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission