Jussie Smollett is reportedly back on the Empire set after being the target of an apparent hate crime attack in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood last week. It is reported by ABC7 Chicago that there is more evidence surrounding the January 29 incident that led Smollett to take himself to the hospital.
Smollett made his first public appearance since the attack on Saturday when he performed for a sold-out show at Troubador in Los Angeles. The show was supposed to be a meet-and-greet, but this aspect was canceled due to concerns about the artist’s safety. During his set, Smollett addressed the attack to his fans.
“There are so many words on my heart that I want to say,” he said. “The most important that I can say, to keep it simple, thank you so much. I’m okay… I’m not fully healed yet, but I’m going to. I’m going to stand strong with y’all.”
Smollett told police that he was walking alone from a Subway restaurant at 2 a.m. when the attack took place. He said the two men that attacked him were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats. New details from the Chicago Police Department have surfaced stating responding officers found Smollett at his home with stained clothing and white rope around his neck, ABC7 Chicago reports. Surveillance footage from the night of the attack has been released, though it doesn’t show the alleged suspects. Police have also released a photo of two people who have been identified as potential persons of interest.
They are reportedly searching for the two possible suspects, and left their contact information in the article for those who know where to find them.
The Chicago Police Department previously confirmed in a statement that Smollett’s attack was racially-charged assault and battery, based off of the evidence they found while working on the case.
“Two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him,” an officer said in a statement.
Smollett has historically been vocal about topics regarding equality among people in the LGBTQIA community, as well as on topics of racial equality. Though he has yet to speak on the horrific incident on his social media accounts, he is still receiving support from celebrities and fans.
Taraji P. Henson, who plays Smollett’s mother on Empire, appeared on Live With Kelly and Ryan on Monday and said that he is “resilient.” The show shared the video with Henson on its Facebook page.
New episodes of Empire will return on Fox on March 28.