“I fought the f–k back.”
Only four days after Empire star, Jussie Smollett was allegedly attacked by what sources close to him have called MAGA Supporters, the actor/singer appeared in concert on stage at Los Angeles famed Troubadour on Saturday.
Taking the stage, Smollett told the audience, “I’m not fully healed yet but I’m going to and I’m going to stand strong with y’all. I had to be here tonight, y’all. I can’t let the motherf—ers win.”
As the supportive sold-out crowd cheered, Smollett continued, “I have so many words on my heart… the most important thing I have to say is thank you so much and that I’m okay. I’m not fully healed yet, but I’m going to. And I’m gonna stand strong with y’all… l will always stand for love. I will never stand for anything other than that. Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love. And I hope that you all will stand with me. So now… let’s do it.”
Smollett who has played openly gay Jamal Lyons on the hit Fox series for the last five years, was reportedly jumped by two men, who tied a noose around his neck, leaving rope burns, had a chemical substance (a TMZ report called it, ‘bleach’) poured on him and had racial and homophobic slurs yelled at him. Chicago police believe this to be a hate crime and have released grainy footage of two possible “Persons of Interest.”
According to the police report obtained by ABC7 Eyewitness News, Chicago police found Smollett at his home with a stained shirt and a white rope around his neck. A friend of the Empire actor called the police on his behalf. Jussie Smollett initially “did not want to report” his alleged assault and battery last week in Chicago, according to the initial Chicago police incident report.
Last week, Smollett also addressed speculation that he had changed his initial story and was less than forthcoming with authorities. “I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” he said. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”
The night began with an acapella number from the group June’s Diary before members of the performing Smollett family took to the stage with a statement about the attack on their brother. His eldest brother JoJo read the following:
“As you know, my brother Jussie, not even a week ago, survived a traumatic experience, which no one should ever have to go through. Since then, there’s been an outpouring of love and support that has truly humbled our family. There has also been a bevy of false, undercutting stories that have hurt him deeply. If I’m honest, as his big brother, I wanted Jussie to sit this one out. I sincerely wanted to stay out of the public until he heals. But then after much debating, some arguing, many tears, my family and I realized that tonight is an important part of Jussie’s healing.”
Jussie Smollett’s brothers and sisters address the attack before Jussie took the stage tonight at The Troubadour in Los Angeles pic.twitter.com/Xlqb5MgLje
— Grè (@GreciaAranzazu) February 3, 2019
During his exciting hour-long set, Smollett excited the crowd, who included California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, actor Wilson Cruz (whom Smollett acknowledged) and countless Empire fans with songs that included “Heavy” and Freedom.”
Smollett gave a shout-out to his boyfriend calling him his “man” and thanking him for standing strong during the emotional tribulations of the past week. He then went on to praise other queer men of color including Lee Daniels, Langston Hughes, and James Baldwin.
Before his encore, Smollett stepped out onto the stage and said there were four points he wanted to make about the attack.
“I was bruised but my ribs were not cracked. They were not broken. I went to the director immediately. I was not hospitalized. Both my doctors in L.A. and Chicago cleared me to perform but said to take care, obviously,” Smollett said. “And above all, I fought the f–k back.”
His final words before exiting the stage: “We are proud. We are gay.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382.
Source: The Advocate