- “Empire” cast member Jussie Smollett was reportedly beaten by two men in Chicago early Tuesday morning.
- According to a statement from Chicago Police, the department was investigating a “possible racially charged assault and battery” involving an “Empire” cast member.
- TMZ reported that the two white men in ski masks yelled homophobic and racial slurs before assaulting Smollett and wrapping a rope around his neck.
- Police said the attack was being investigated as a possible hate crime.
“Empire” cast member Jussie Smollett was reportedly beaten by two men in Chicago, police said Tuesday morning.
Chicago Police said in a statement that the department was investigating a “possible racially charged assault and battery” involving an “Empire” cast member, but didn’t name Smollett.
According to TMZ, Smollett arrived in Chicago late Monday and went to a Subway for something to eat early on Tuesday morning. As he was leaving the restaurant, two men approached him and one yelled, “Aren’t you that f—– Empire n—–?,” sources connected to Smollett told TMZ.
The source reportedly told TMZ that the two men were white and wearing ski masks, and after pouring bleach on Smollett, one of them yelled, “This is MAGA country.”
The offenders also wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck, according to police.
Police said the victim had been transported to Northwestern hospital and was in “good condition” Tuesday.
Smollett received another threat as recently as January, ABC News reported on Tuesday night. According to the report, a letter sent to a Fox studio in Chicago “contained threatening language and was laced with a powdery substance.” That substance was believed to be Tylenol, according to investigators cited by ABC News.
Phone calls and emails from INSIDER to the FBI’s Chicago field office were not immediately returned Tuesday night.
Smollett plays Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox show. “Empire” producer 20th Century Fox and Fox Entertainment released a statement saying they are “deeply saddened and outraged” by the attack on Smollett.
Statement from 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment: pic.twitter.com/tlpw7saMul
— Brendon Geoffrion (@tv_brendon) January 29, 2019
Representatives for Smollett didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.
This article was updated to include 20th Century Fox and Fox’s statement.