Jussie Smollet talked for the first time about the incident of last Monday night, where he was beaten up on the streets in Chicago. The perpetrators would have made racist and homophobic statements.

“Let me be the first to say that I am okay”, Smollet begins his statement on the website of the magazine Essence .

“My body is strong, but my soul is stronger, I want to thank everyone first, the enormous amount of love and support that I have received means more to me than I can ever grasp in words,” said the Empire actor.

According to the Chicago police, Smollet was beaten in the face during the attack and “an unknown chemical substance” was poured over him. One of the perpetrators also tied a rope around his neck.

The actor broke a rib at the hands of the men and had to be treated in the hospital. He was allowed back home on Tuesday morning.

In his statement, Smollet says that his attack is not an isolated thing. “These kind of cowardly attacks are a daily recurring problem for my brothers and sisters, and I will soon give more details about this terrible incident, but for now I need some time for myself to process this.”

In a statement released Thursday, Smollett’s family echoed much of his statement, saying they are standing by their “beloved son and brother.”

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Because there’s a light in him that cannot be dimmed, because we are a family of joyful warriors, we will not let this get the best of us. Although this is a picture from happier times, this is the spirit to which we chose to move forward…they will not steal, our joy. ✊🏽✊🏽✊🏽 ________________________________________________________Statement from our family: “ In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. 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. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. 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. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. 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. With love & gratitude, The Smollett Family”

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