Empire star Jussie Smollett was brutally attacked by two men in what is believed to have been a homophobic and racist attack.
The black, gay actor, who plays Jamal Lyon in the programme, was walking in Chicago at 2am when he was allegedly beaten by two men who put his head in a noose and screamed “This is MAGA country”, reports TMZ .
Sources close to the star told the site that Jussie had arrived in Chicago from New York late on Monday night and decided to head out at 2am to get some food.
It’s said he’d gone into a Subway store and when he walked out, someone shouted: “Aren’t you that f****t Empire n****r?”
The two men, who were both wearing ski masks, are said to have viciously attacked Jussie, beating him so badly that he fractured a rib.
They allegedly put a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him as they left yelling: “This is MAGA country”.
Jussie was taken to Northwestern Memorial hospital where he was treated and discharged the following morning.
A threatening letter sent to Jussie at Fox Studios in Chicago has been published by TheGrapeJuice.Net
The letter, reportedly sent eight days ago, spells out “You will die black f*g” in cut-out letters, alongside a disturbing drawing.
“MAGA” is written in the top left corner of the envelope it was sent in.
Law enforcement sources say Chicago PD is investigating the incident as a battery, with police saying they are treating it as a possible hate crime.
A statement from 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said: “We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our Empire family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night.
“We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice.
“The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate – and especially against one of our own.”
Mirror Online has contacted Jussie’s representatives for comment.
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