Empire Actor Jussie Smollett Was Attacked in an Apparent Hate Crime in Chicago

Jussie Smollett was attacked in an apparent hate crime on Jan. 29 in Chicago. The 36-year-old actor was leaving a restaurant when two suspects approached him yelling racial and homophobic slurs, authorities confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. The suspects then punched Jussie, poured an unknown chemical substance on him, and wrapped a rope around his neck. Jussie was hospitalized following the attack. "Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime," police said in a statement.

Jussie is best known for his portrayal of Jamal Lyon in Empire, although he has also appeared in Revenge, Marshall, and Alien: Covenant. His Empire character is a gay singer-songwriter, and in 2015, Jussie came out to Ellen DeGeneres in a filmed conversation that took place backstage at her talk show. "There is no closet. There's never been a closet that I've been in. I don't own a closet," he said. "I have a home, and that is my responsibility to protect that home." We'll update this post with more information as it becomes available.