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

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Celebrities react to violent attack on Jussie Smollett
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Celebrities react to violent attack on Jussie Smollett
Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice.
DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.
This is heartbreaking and terrifying...please pay attention to what’s happening here. Sending all my love to… https://t.co/xAKE4hVjn9
This is so awful. Sending love to @JussieSmollett. 🙌🌈 https://t.co/U3wKFBAXi2
Sending my love and prayers to you @JussieSmollett . This is unacceptable and they will be brought to justice.
I'm just now hearing the news about the senseless hate attack on my #EMPiRE Nephew @JussieSmollett IM SO ANGRY AND… https://t.co/wHE8vGKZDP
This is horrific. What kind of country do we live in. https://t.co/unvzWmo6XD
I saw Jussie Smollett in Miami last week. I can’t believe this happened. It is sad and disgusting and and deplorabl… https://t.co/gC824cErsM
The reported hate attack on my friend and brother, actor Jussie Smollett is despicable and outrageous. The guilty must face the maximum.
I’m pissed. Love you @JussieSmollett and your family. https://t.co/DYohyjP0AW
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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.
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