Jussie Smollett speaks at first gig since attack: 'I fought the f**k back'
Less than a week after reportedly surviving a racist and homophobic attack, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett took the stage in his first performance since the incident.
Speaking out about the assault in an appearance at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, the actor delivered a message of hope and resilience.
“I’m not fully healed yet, but I’m going to, and I’m going to stand strong with you all,” he told the crowd as it erupted in cheers.
According to police, Smollett was accosted last Tuesday in Chicago by two masked men shouting homophobic and racial slurs. He was then beaten and doused in what was likely bleach. The alleged assailants reportedly also wrapped a rope around his neck.
In a subsequent interview with authorities, Smollett, who is black and gay, said the perps yelled “MAGA country,” referencing President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” catchphrase.
Related: Celebrities react to violent attack on Jussie Smollett
At end of his show just before the encore, Smollett took a moment to clarify details on the attack, noting that he had suffered bruises but no broken ribs and had gone to a doctor promptly. He also said he was not hospitalized and that his physicians in Los Angeles and Chicago had given him the green light to perform.
“And above all, I fought the fuck back,” he added, receiving applause.
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.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.