Jussie Smollett, 35, performed at his first show since being attacked in Chicago last week. The Empire star clarified rumors surrounding the coverage of the alleged assault with fans at the Troubadour in West Hollywood on Saturday night.
“There’s just a couple of points I want to make really quick,” Smollett told the audience before comparing his little sister to Scandal‘s lead character, Olivia Pope.
He then said, “I was bruised but my ribs were not cracked [and] they were not broken. I went to the hospital immediately. Frank Gaston drove me. I was not hospitalized.”
The 35-year-old revealed that doctors in Chicago and Los Angeles cleared him to perform at the West Hollywood club. The most important detail Smollett wanted to share was that he “fought the f**k back” during the alleged homophobic and racially motivated attack, which is being investigated as a hate crime.
The African-American entertainer, who is openly gay and plays a gay character on the FOX series, told authorities the suspects yelled discriminatory slurs and put a noose around his neck
According to CNN, Smollett told the more than 300 people at the venue that love is the cure for the divisive and hateful rhetoric being spread in America.
“I don’t even care to name any names,” he said. “The hateful rhetoric that gets passed around, it has to stop. But guess what, it stops with the people that believe in love.”
Smollet ended his performance saying he would be “Black and gayer,” moving forward.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.