Emotional Jussie Smollett Performs For First Time Since Brutal Attack
Jussie Smollett has made an emotional appearance in Los Angeles one week after a homophobic and racially motivated attack in Chicago.
The Empire actor was targeted by two unidentified people who put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him while yelling racial and homophobic slurs, according to police reports.
The openly gay actor performed at the Troubador in Los Angeles over the weekend and cleared up what actually happened on the night of January 29.
Smollett was surrounded by friends and family members as he explained to the crowd that he refused to let his attackers win, The LA Times reports.
Fighting back tears, the actor defiantly told the audience that he "wasn't fully healed yet, but I'm going to [be]".
“I’m gonna stand strong with y’all," he said. "I couldn't let those motherf***ers win. So I will always stand for love. I will never stand for anything other than that.
"Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love and I hope that you all stand with me."
Smollett clarified that he was "bruised, but my ribs were not cracked, they were not broken" during the attack last week and that he attended a doctor immediately, but was not hospitalised.
"Both my doctors in LA and Chicago cleared me to perform but said to take care, obviously," he added.
"And above all, I fought the f*** back," he said, as the crowd erupted in cheers and applause.
"I'm the gay Tupac!" Smollet joked.
The actor and singer performed a number of songs with his band, including a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Love's in Need of Love Today" and "Heavy" from the Empire soundtrack.
Joel Smollett Jr.-- the brother of Jussie -- also spoke on stage, explaining how proud he was of his younger sibling's bravery.
"As his big brother, I wanted Jussie to sit this one out… but tonight is an important part of Jussie’s healing," he said.
"He’s been a fighter since he was a baby … But above all else, he is the epitome of love.”
Chicago police are continuing to investigate the reported hate crime but have not yet made any arrests.
Main Image: Getty Images.