Jussie Smollett broke his silence after suffering a homophobic and racist attack earlier this week in a statement to Essence.
Smollett was hospitalized on Tuesday (January 29) after two white men attacked him, putting a noose around his neck and calling him racial and homophobic slurs. He was discharged later that morning.
“Let me start by saying I’m okay,” he said in a statement addressed to the “beautiful people.”
“My body is strong, but my soul is stronger,” Smollett continued. “More importantly, I want to say thank you. The outpouring love and support from my village has meant more to me than I will ever be able to truly put into words.”
Smollett received tons of support and love from Empire cast and crew on social media, as well as from other celebrities.
…whoever did this, do not forget that you are nothing but hate filled cowards while Jussie’s talent and activism will continue to shine a bright light on to the world for decades to come.
— Danny Strong (@Dannystrong) January 29, 2019
Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 29, 2019
This is happening. NOW. In OUR country. https://t.co/C1Zxsx9Y9Q
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) January 29, 2019
Smollett’s family also released a statement to ET Online about the attack, calling it an act of “domestic terrorism.”
“We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive,” his family said. “We want this to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. These are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such.”
“Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed,” they continued. “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.”
“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.”