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Empire Star Jussie Smollett Assaulted in Anti-Gay, Racial Hate Crime in Chicago

According to TMZ, two white in ski masks reportedly approached the 35-year-old, EMPIRE actor Jessie Smollett late Monday, yelled out racial and homophobic slurs (“Aren’t you that faggot Empire nigger?”)

Deadline Hollywood reports:

Empire star Jussie Smollett was attacked early this morning in Chicago in what police are saying is a possible hate crime, Deadline has confirmed. Chicago PD released the following statement on Twitter: “Overnight the Chicago Police Department received a report of a possible racially charged assault and battery against a cast member of the television show Empire. Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime.”

According to police, the actor was exiting a restaurant in the 300 block of East Lower Water Street when two suspects began yelling racial and homophobic slurs towards him. They then proceeded to attack Smollett, punching him before pouring an unknown chemical substance over him. At some point during the attack, one of the suspects wrapped a rope around Smollett’s neck. The attackers then fled the scene.

Another source cites that the assailants yelled “This is MAGA country.” during the assault. (Chicago PD is disputing this.)

Sources via ThatGrapeJuice.net also claim the Empire actor recently received a threatening letter in the mail with “You will die black fag,” written in disturbing ransom-style cutout letters.

Empire co-executive producer Danny Strong issued an official statement: “The terror of racism and homophobia has no place in our society, it is the most indecent way to live,” Strong tweeted on Tuesday. “Whoever did this, do not forget that you are nothing but hate filled cowards while Jussie’s talent and activism will continue to shine a bright light on to the world for decades to come.”

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's well known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story, Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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