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Men Reportedly Attack ‘Empire’ Star, Tie Noose Around His Neck After Shouting Racist, Homophobic Slurs
Two white men wearing ski masks began to attack Jussie Smollett shortly after the star left a Chicago eatery in the early morning hours Tuesday, according to TMZ.
“Empire” star Jussie Smollett was reportedly attacked Tuesday by two men who put his head in a noose and poured an unknown chemical on him, sending the star to the hospital.
Smollett, 36, had just flown to Chicago late Monday night and had gone out to get a bite to eat around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning when two men approached him as he left a Subway and began to shout racial and homophobic slurs at him, TMZ reports.
In a statement obtained by Oxygen.com, Chicago Police confirmed the incident, but didn't name the victim, saying the men “gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him”
A source reportedly told TMZ one of the men shouted “Aren’t you that f---ot ‘Empire’ n------?’ before they began to attack Smollett, who tried to fight back against his attackers.
The white men were wearing ski masks and began to pummel Smollett in the face, also fracturing a rib, before wrapping a noose around his neck, according to TMZ.
Chicago Police said that the men also poured an unknown substance on Smollett, which TMZ reported was bleach.
As they were leaving, the men reportedly shouted, “This is MAGA country.”
After the attack, Smollett “self-transported” to Northwestern Hospital where he was treated for his injuries and later released, police said.
Chicago Police are now working to gather video and potential witness statements as they investigate the attack.
“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” they wrote in the statement.
Smollett is cooperating with investigators. Police are asking anyone with information about the attack to contact authorities.
Smollett has portrayed the character Jamal Lyon on "Empire" since 2015, according to IMDB.
[Photo: Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images]