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Jussie Smollett said the responsibility to lead with love 'can't be kicked out of him'

It’s the actor’s first statement since his attack.

EARLIER THIS WEEK, Empire star, Jussie Smollett, was hospitalised after being attacked by two individuals shortly after leaving a restaurant in Chicago.

Trevor Live Project - Los Angeles Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The actor was beaten, had a chemical substance poured on him, and had a rope tied around his neck when he presented himself at hospital for treatment.

A police statement which was issued in the wake of the incident said homophobic and racial slurs were used during the attack, and yet many reports described the incident as ‘a suspected hate crime’

Considering the incongruity of the reporting, debate raged back and forth on social media in the days that followed, and now Jussie himself is in a position to have his say.

In a statement issued to Essence, the 36-year-old addressed the inaccuracies which have found their way into the narrative surrounding his attack, and stressed that he had been ‘consistent on every level’.

“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” he began. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger.”

“More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words. ”

I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served. 

“As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily,” Jussie continued. “I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident.”

The Black AIDS Insitute 2018 Hosts Heroes in The Struggle Gala, Los Angeles, CA, USA, December 1, 2018 Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The actor asked for some time to process the events of the last three days, but insisted the week’s events will not colour his perspective, nor force him to do anything to other than ‘lead with love’ during times of trauma.

We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process. Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.

Meanwhile Ellen Page made reference to the attack during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week.

In an emotionally-charged assessment of Vice President Mike Pence, the actress urged the public to ‘join the dots’.

“The Vice President of America wishes I didn’t have the love with my wife,” she told the audience. “He wanted to ban that in Indiana. He believes in conversion therapy.”

“He has hurt LGBT people so badly and I think the thing we need to know – and I hope my show Gaycation did this – in terms of connecting the dots, in terms of what happened the other day to Jussie,” the actress continued.

Connect the dots. This is what happens. If you are in a position of power and you hate people and you want to cause suffering to them – you spend your career trying to cause suffering -  what do you think is going to happen?

“Kids are being abused and they’re going to kill themselves and people are going to beaten on the street,” she said, holding back tears.

Ellen’s words were met with applause by the studio audience, while footage of the interview has been liked tens of thousands of times on Twitter.

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Niamh McClelland

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