Empire star Jussie Smollett has been hospitalized in Chicago after a violent attack, one authorities are deeming an apparent hate crime.
The incident occurred around 2 a.m. Tuesday. According to reports, two men wearing ski masks placed a noose around Jussie’s neck during the attack. Per The Grape Juice, Jussie had recently received a letter with cut out letters spelling a derogatory statement, “You will die black f**”.
According to TMZ: The 2 masked men viciously attacked Jussie as he fought back, but they beat him badly and fractured a rib. They put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they yelled, “This is MAGA country.”
Chicago law enforcement is investigating the attack as battery. Smollett was later released from the hospital. The 35-year-old actor confirmed that he was gay during a 2015 interview on Ellen and hoped that other gay individuals would feel less alone in the world.