ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(CHICAGO) — Empire star Jussie Smollett was hospitalized early Tuesday morning after a violent attack which police are currently investigating as a possible hate crime.
On Monday night, the Chicago Police Department received a report of a possible racially-charged assault and battery involving a cast member of the show Empire, who was later reported to be Smollett by both TMZ and Empire writer/director Eric Haywood. ABC has now confirmed that the victim was indeed Smollett.
According to the police report, Smollett was attacked by two unknown offenders who were yelling out racial and homophobic slurs. During the encounter, the assailants battered the victim, poured an unknown chemical substance on him, and proceeded wrap a rope around his neck.
The offenders later fled the scene, with the victim then transporting himself to Northwestern Hospital, where he is reported to be in good condition.
In a statement, Chicago PD said, "Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime. Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline."
"The victim is fully cooperating with investigators," the statement continued. "And we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to cpdtip.com."
Haywood took to Twitter to express his anger at the situation.
"I will burn your f***ing house down to protect @JussieSmollett," he wrote. "Write that s*** down."
According to ThatGrapeJuice.Net, this violent attack comes just days after Smollett received a threatening letter, which read “You will die black f*g.”
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