CHICAGO – (01-29-19) — During the homophobic hate crime attack on Jussie Smollett, one of the suspects wrapped a rope around the actor’s neck.

Empire star Jussie Smollett was assaulted early Tuesday morning in what Chicago police are calling a hate crime, authorities confirmed to JRL CHARTS.

According to Chicago PD, the 36-year-old actor was leaving a restaurant in the 300 block of East Lower Water Street when two men began yelling racial and homophobic slurs towards Jussie Smollett.

They then proceeded to attack Smollett, punching him before pouring an unknown chemical substance over him, said police. At some point during the attack, one of the suspects wrapped a rope around Smollett’s neck.

“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” said Chicago PD in a statement to JRL CHARTS.

Smollett was taken to the hospital for his injuries. Smollett’s publicity agent did not immediately respond to a request for his condition update but we will follow his status and report on his condition the minute it becomes available.

Police are looking for witnesses and reviewing nearby security footage.

Jussie Smollett plays openly gay musician Jamal Lyon, the son of Lucious (Terence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) in the hit FOX TV show ‘Empire’.

Back in 2015, Jussie Smollett went on the Ellen DeGeneres show and told her he is gay but chooses to keep his personal life out of the public eye. “There is no closet, there’s never been a closet that I’ve been in.” said Smollett.

FOX released a statement:
“We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our Empire family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night. We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stand united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”

GLAAD released a statement saying that it reached out to Fox and Smollett’s team to offer any help needed. “Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world,”

Empire co-creator Danny Strong went on social media to say…”I’m deeply horrified and saddened by the racist and homophobic attacks against @JussieSmollett. He is a kind and profoundly talented soul whom I respect with all my heart. The terror of racism and homophobia has no place in our society, it is the most indecent way to live. 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.”

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign — the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, said via Twitter, “I am sick to my stomach over the news of a violent attack on @JussieSmollett. I’m so glad you are safe, my friend. All of us at @HRC wish you a quick recovery. Law enforcement MUST act quickly & thoroughly given the horrific racist/homophobic details described in news reports.”

The Anti-Defamation League released a statement saying…”This sickening, vile reported attack on @EmpireFOX star @JussieSmollett is a disturbing reminder of the terrible homophobia & racism that plagues society.  We stand with you, Jussie and will never stop fighting against this kind of hateful violence.”

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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