Smollett speaks about attack for first time

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Jussie Smollett speaks about 'racist and homophobic' attack for first time

Image copyright Getty Images

Empire actor Jussie Smollett says he's doing "ok" after being attacked in Chicago.

It's the first time the 35-year-old has spoken about what happened.

Police are searching for two people who punched him, poured an "unknown chemical substance" over him and put a rope around his neck.

In a statement, he has thanked fans for their support and says that love "can't be kicked out of me".

"Let me start by saying that I'm ok," he says.

"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."

Jussie has told police his attackers also made reference to "MAGA" (Make America Great Again).

The slogan was used by Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

Police are investigating whether the actor was the victim of a hate crime.

Image copyright Chicago Police
Image caption Chicago police have released this image of two "people of interest" in the case
Instagram post by janellemonae: THIS HATE CRIME against our brother @jussiesmollett is proof that no matter how famous you may be it still does not protect you from vicious racist homophobes !! AND It is still a risk daily to be a BLACK , OUT , and PROUD human being . I am sending so much love to you Jussie . Praying for your healing . Thank you for being such an inspiration to me & soooooo mannnnny people . Thank you for inspiring us to walk in our truth . Thank you for choosing freedom over fear . I will continue to walk BOLD , BLACK , & PROUD in your honor always . ?? With love from your bi/pan/queer/free ass mothafucka sis  This pic is of me thanking him for sending flowers after the RS article (which gave me great anxiety btw). What a kind kind kind soul . Image Copyright janellemonae janellemonae Report

While Jussie's had a huge amount of support, others have questioned his version of what happened.

The actress Ellen Page spoke about the case on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert – criticising some of the media for questioning whether it should be treated as a hate crime.

"It's absurd. This isn't a debate," she says.

You need to go to around 6m55 in this video.

Youtube post by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Ellen Page Calls Out Hateful Leadership Image Copyright The Late Show with Stephen Colbert The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Report

"I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level," Jussie insists.

"As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily.

"I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident."

The actor says he will give more details about the "horrific incident" but first needs 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."

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