In his first public appearance since his reported homophobic attack last week, actor Jussie Smollett reiterated that he’s okay and clarified details of the incident. Smollett was allegedly assaulted last Tuesday night (January 29th) in Chicago by two men who used rope and bleach.
“I’m not fully healed yet,” the Empire star told the crowd during a performance at Los Angeles’ Troubadour on Saturday night (February 2nd), according to CNN. “But I’m going to [be], and I’m gonna stand strong with y’all.” He added, “I had to be here tonight, y’all, I couldn’t let those fuckers win.”
Smollett also took the opportunity to clear up some details of his attack in response to social media commenters who had accused him of changing his story. He noted that while he was bruised, his ribs had not been broken or cracked. He also said that he was examined by a doctor following the attack, but was not hospitalized. His physician in Chicago, as well as his one in Los Angeles, cleared him to go through with Saturday’s performance, “but said to take care obviously.”
“And above all,” Smollett proclaimed, “I fought the fuck back,” which prompted the audience to erupt in applause. “I’m the gay Tupac,” he went on to joke.
Chicago police are investigating the attack as a hate crime, according to CNN. They are also asking for the public to help identify potential persons of interest in the attack.