Empire’s Jussie Smollett: Stars show support after attack

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Empire's Jussie Smollett: Stars show support after attack

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Media captionAttacked actor 'has tasted brutality of hatred'

Stars are showing their support for actor Jussie Smollett after he was the victim of a suspected hate crime in Chicago.

The 35-year-old Empire actor was attacked by two men "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs", police say.

He was hit in the face, had an "unknown chemical substance" poured on him and a rope was wrapped around his neck.

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.

Oscar winner Viola Davis and supermodel Naomi Campbell are among those sharing their support.

Image copyright Getty Images

Naomi Campbell, who starred in the first two seasons of the musical show about a hip-hop mogul whose sons and ex-wife fight over his business, said that one of the most beautiful things to happen to her when working on Empire was meeting Jussie Smollett.

Alongside a picture of the two of them, she called on the Mayor of Chicago to catch the "despicable people" who have committed this "act of hate".

Oscar winner Viola Davis shared a photo of Jussie on her Instagram page.

Instagram post by violadavis: OMG!! THIS is why the LGBTQ community continue to fight to be seen and PROTECTED against hate!  We ALL have to take this racist and homophobic act of violence very personally! My arms are around you @jussiesmollett. You are loved! Image Copyright violadavis violadavis Report

Jussie, who plays Jamal Lyon, in Empire, came out on US TV show Ellen in 2015.

It's after he faced scrutiny in his personal life when his character on the show came out as being gay.

At the time he told Ellen "there is, without a doubt, no closet that I've ever been in and I just wanted to make that clear".

The TV host tweeted her support for him and his family.

Skip Twitter post by @TheEllenShow

Four years ago, @JussieSmollett came out on my show. I’m sending him and his family so much love today. ??

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 29, 2019


End of Twitter post by @TheEllenShow

Jussie's co-star, Grace Byers, is among those expressing their horror at the attack.

"This despicable act only shamefully reveals how deeply the diseases of hatred, inequality, racism and discrimination continue to course through our country's veins," she said.

Instagram post by ladygracebyers: It’s indisputable that one of Jussie’s purpose-gifts is the ability to unify through love. It’s who he is. It’s what he does. His blazon of light can never - and will never - be diminished, quelled or subdued. This despicable act only shamefully reveals how deeply the diseases of hatred, inequality, racism and discrimination continue to course through our country’s veins.  It’s not enough to just share about the unconscionable, heinous and deplorable acts birthed by them - we must shoulder the responsibility and honor of loving one another like never before. We MUST. For without love; we gain nothing, we live for nothing, we become nothing.  Praying deeply for our brother as he heals and recovers. Fervently awaiting the moment that these vile, despicable cowards and purveyors of hate and evil are brought to a smoldering justice.  Love - and @jussiesmollett’s light, voice and purpose - will never be silenced. Hate will not win. We will rise. Image Copyright ladygracebyers ladygracebyers Report

Lee Daniels, the creator of Empire, posted an emotional video on Instagram supporting Jussie, in which he called him "my son".

"You didn't deserve, nor anybody deserves, to have a noose put around your neck.

"America is better than that. It starts at home. We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are, because it shows that we are united.

"Hold your head up Jussie. I'm with you," he said.

American comedian and presenter Steve Harvey also posted a video for Jussie on Instagram,calling him "little brother" and saying a lot of people are backing him.

"This ain't about sexual preference or nothing. This is about coming to the aid of another brother that has tasted the brutality of hatred and racism and bigotry."

Instagram post by iamsteveharveytv: @jussiesmollett Image Copyright iamsteveharveytv iamsteveharveytv Report

Singer and actress Janelle Monae also shared a photo of herself with Jussie.

"It is still a risk daily to be a BLACK, OUT and PROUD human being," she wrote.

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/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

Jada Pinkett Smith also posted a news report about the attack.

Instagram post by jadapinkettsmith: ????? Image Copyright jadapinkettsmith jadapinkettsmith Report

Some media reports say that the actor had bleach poured on him but that's not been confirmed yet.

According to the American website TMZ, Jussie has now been discharged from hospital.

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