Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Jussie Smollett strikes emotional chord: Attackers won’t win

Jussie Smollett strikes emotional chord: Attackers won’t win

Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love. "I couldn't let those (expletives) win", he said to screams and cheers from the packed room.

Jussie Smollett performed Saturday for the first time since it was reported that he was assaulted by two men in Chicago in the early morning hours of January 29. The actor and singer passionately spoke to the audience last night and even said, "I'm the gay 2Pac". "I stand on the backs of the Wilson Cruzs and the Bayard Rustins and the Langston Hughess and the James Baldwins and the Alvin Aileys, and I pray to god that I made y'all proud".

"And above all, I fought the fuck back", he said to cheers. He also said that he went to the doctor immediately, but he wasn't hospitalized, and physicians in both Chicago and Los Angeles cleared him to perform at the concert.

Smollett stars alongside Terence and Taraji P. Henson in "Empire", the Fox TV show about the power struggles of a family in the music business that is now in its fifth season. "Then, after much debate, some arguing and many tears, my family and I realised that tonight is an important part of Jussie's healing". Smollett's brother, Jojo, said there have been many "false, under-cutting stories", referring to questions being raised on social media about the truthfulness of the attack. I refuse to let my people down. They allegedly punched and poured bleach on him while one of the suspects put a rope around his neck.

In his statement to police following the incident on Tuesday morning, Smollett alleged that he was approached by two individuals who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him.

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He later added: "The hateful rhetoric has to stop and it stops when you believe in love. Black, white, Asian, gay, straight - the whole vibe of the people who were all there in love".

Smollett kept the tone mostly celebratory before addressing the attack head-on toward the end of his hour-long set, when he told the crowd he wanted to clarify a few things.

"I think being gay and black in this country, it's very hard to get jobs, to live life, just to cross the street", Perkins said.

"Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning", the statement read. He fought his attackers that night and he continues to fight.

Chicago detectives are in the midst of a hate crime investigation, collecting video, looking for potential witnesses and drawing up a timeline of the event in an effort to the bottom of the case.

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