Almost a week after claiming he was the victim of a homophobic and racist attack, Empire star Jussie Smollett made his first public appearance, standing tall and calling out the "motherf*ckers" whom police have still yet to arrest.
Empire co-creator Lee Daniels and actor Wilson Cruz, known for his groundbreaking role on My So-Called Life, were among those in the audience Smollett acknowledged while on stage. "I'm not fully healed yet, but I'm going to and I'm going to stand strong with you all. Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love", a misty-eyed Smollett said on Saturday before launching into his emotional set. I couldn't let those motherf**kers win. l will always stand for love. "After much debate, some arguing and many tears, my family and I have realized that tonight is an important part of his healing". He also said he was not hospitalized and that his physicians in Los Angeles and Chicago had given him the green light to perform.
Jussie Smollett doesn't want there to be any more confusion about what happened to him on Tuesday. Take love back because that's all that we have ...
Chicago police said they are investigating the assault against the actor, who is black and openly gay, as a hate crime.
The incident, which is now being investigated as a hate crime, caused a lot of worry amongst his followers and the general public.
Smollett has said two men yelled racist and homophobic remarks at him before beating him and putting a rope around his neck. "I went to the director immediately", he offered. He told him that he fought back against the attackers.
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Before leaving the stage the artist said: "We are proud". And I'm gonna stand strong with y'all.
"The most important thing I can say is thank you so much, and I'm OK", Smollett said, according to the Associated Press.
Last week, Smollett issued a statement to Essence that read: "My body is strong but my soul is stronger".
"In times of trauma or hurt or grief, we still have a responsibility to lead with love", Smollett said at one point.
The TV star, who plays R&B singer Jamal Lyon on Empire, has received support and messages online from co-stars, celebrities and politicians.
The men soon attacked Smollett, poured a chemical substance on him, and tied a rope around his neck. Firstly, in response to reports that the actor told the police the culprits were wearing MAGA hats, the sources clarified that he never made that statement, but rather said they screamed, "MAGA country".