CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police have opened a hate crime investigation after a cast member of the television show “Empire” alleged he was attacked by men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him and physically attacked him.
TMZ reports two white men wearing ski masks “viciously attacked” Jussie Smollett and fractured one of his ribs. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says that the two men approached Smollett and began shouting at him. Guglielmi says they then struck him in the face and poured an unknown chemical substance- believed to be bleach- on him before one of them wrapped a noose around his neck.
TMZ reports the men yelled, “Aren’t you that f***ot Empire n*****?” and “This is MAGA country!” before the attack.
Smollett was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released.
Police say detectives are gathering security video from nearby businesses, “identifying potential witnesses and establishing a timeline.”
Statement on #ChicagoPolice hate crime investigation. We are taking these allegations very seriously and encourage anyone with information to report anonymously to https://t.co/yYAqzcVIfu pic.twitter.com/DxipALHXaz
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) January 29, 2019