Days after he was attacked, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett’s family has broken their silence.
In a statement obtained by “Extra,” the Smolletts said, “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,” the statement 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. 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.”
The family ended the note by emphasizing, “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.”
Earlier in the day, President Trump commented on the attack, telling reporters, “I can tell you that it’s horrible. It doesn’t get worse.”
The police are still in search of the two men thought to be involved in the possible hate crime. TMZ reports Smollett, who is black, was attacked by two white men in ski masks who allegedly pulled a noose around his neck and shouted racial slurs while beating him, fracturing a rib.