In an interview airing Thursday on “Good Morning America,” Jussie Smollett gets emotional about being attacked in a possible hate crime.
“I’m pissed off,” the “Empire” actor says in a clip of the chat that was posted online Wednesday.
“Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts asks him why he’s so angry. Smollett explains that he’s upset not just by the people who physically harmed him, but also by what he sees as a willful ignorance of the truth.
“It’s the attackers, but it’s also the attacks,” Smollett, who’s black and openly gay, says. “It’s not that you don’t believe this is the truth; you don’t want to see this is the truth.”
On Jan. 29, Smollett, 36, experienced “a possible hate crime,” according to Chicago Police. Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi told USA TODAY that Smollett was approached in the early hours of Tuesday morning by two people who “gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him,” adding that they punched him in the face, poured a chemical on him and wrapped a rope around his neck.
Smollett went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to have cuts on his face and neck treated, and made it to Hollywood the following Saturday to perform a scheduled concert, saying, “I had to be here tonight, y’all. … I will always stand for love. I will only stand for love.”
On Tuesday, Chicago Police Sgt. Rocco Alioto told USA TODAY that Smollett’s submitted phone records from the incident “do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation as they were limited and heavily redacted.”
Smollett’s spokesperson Chris Bastardi confirmed to USA TODAY that the actor “voluntarily provided his phone records” shortly after the altercation, adding that any redactions were “intended to protect the privacy of personal contacts or high-profile individuals not relevant to the attack.”
Earlier: Police reject ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett’s ‘limited and heavily redacted’ phone records
Contributing: Cydney Henderson
Published 9:44 PM EST Feb 13, 2019