Jussie Smollett Hospitalized After Apparent Hate Crime


Empire star Jussie Smollett has been hospitalized in Chicago, Illinois after he was targetted in a brutal homophobic beating.
Reports suggest the actor had just left his Chicago apartment to get something to eat in the early hours of Tuesday when two white men approached him and allegedly began hurling racist and homophobic slurs at the star.
According to TMZ sources, the men recognized Smollett from his role as openly gay singer/songwriter Jamal Lyon on hit hip-hop drama Empire, and shouted, “Aren’t you that f**got Empire n**ger?”
Police claim the suspects, who were wearing black ski masks, began beating him up and poured an unknown chemical substance over him, before using a rope as a noose around the 35 year old’s neck.
TMZ insiders allege the men yelled, “This is MAGA country,” as they ran off, referencing President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” which has been adopted by white supremacists to promote their beliefs.
A friend of Smollett’s found the star and reported the attack to authorities, while the actor checked himself into Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries, including a fractured rib, reports The Blast.
Smollett has since been discharged and was listed in a “good condition”.
Cops are investigating the assault, but have yet to identify the suspects or make any arrests in the case.
“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” reads a police statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter.
Meanwhile, it’s been revealed that officers had already been looking into a disturbing death threat sent to Smollett, who is gay in real life, at the Fox Studios in Chicago.
The envelope, on which the sender was simply listed as “MAGA”, contained a note with magazine letters cut out to spell, “You will die black f**.” Sources tell TMZ it was sent eight days before Smollett’s attack.