Out actor-musician Jussie Smollett
returned to the stage on Saturday, just days after suffering an
alleged brutal hate crime in Chicago.
Smollett, who is black and came out gay
in 2015, was attacked early Tuesday morning by two men in downtown
Chicago. The men hurled racial and homophobic slurs and told
Smollett that he was in “MAGA country.”
Smollett at home recovering after possible anti-gay hate crime.)
Smollett, 36, plays Jamal Lyon, a gay
character, on the Fox drama Empire.
“There are so many words on my heart
that I want to say,” an emotional Smollett said. “The most
important that I can say, to keep it simple, thank you so much. …
Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love. We
hope that you all stand with us.”
“Just because there has been a lot of
stuff that has been said about me that is absolutely not true,”
Smollett later said, referring to questions raised about his story.
“There are just a couple of points that I wanted to make really
quick. … I was bruised, but my ribs were not cracked. I went to
the doctor immediately – I was not hospitalized. Both my doctors
in LA and Chicago cleared me to perform but said to take it easy,
obviously. And, above all, I fought the fuck back.”
The Chicago Police Department has said
that it is investigating “persons of interest” from surveillance
videos. The FBI is investigating a threatening letter laced with
white powder Smollett received last week. A spokesman told CNN that
the white powder was aspirin.