Jussie Smollett has broken his silence.
The Empire star, who has sadly been in the news all week after he was savagely beaten early Tuesday morning in Chicago, has released his first statement since this awful incident.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK," Smollett told Essence magazine on Friday, adding:
"My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words."
Smollett wasn’t simply punched or kicked this week.
The two assailants also tied a rope around his neck and poured bleach all over him.
They screamed homophobic taunts and racial epithets in his direction, while reportedly screaming that Smollett is in "MAGA country."
Police have since released two photos of the alleged suspects.
Continued Smollett in his statement:
“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level.
"Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served."
Smollett is referring to a couple things here.
First, it was unclear initially whether the attackers made the aforementioned "MAGA comment."
But reports have since indicated that Smollett did tell authorities as much.
Second, there was talk that Smollett refused to turn over his cell phone records — but it’s since been reported that he simply didn’t want to turn over his actual cell phone to the cops on the spot.
"As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily," concluded Smollett.
"I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process.
"Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.
"With Love, respect & honor … Jussie.”
On Thursday evening, Smollett’s loved ones released a statement of their own.
It reads, in part:
We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice…
Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed.
We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country…
Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.
Many people have interpreted this final section as a shot against President Donald Trump.
The President has since commented on this awful situation, however.
Click the video above to see what he said.
And join us in sending the very best wishes to Jussie Smollett.
We’re thinking of you, man.