AceShowbiz - Actor/singer Jussie Smollett has thanked fans for their support in his first statement since he was attacked in an alleged hate crime.
The "Empire" star was beaten and reportedly had a noose tied around his neck by masked men in a racist and homophobic assault that took place on Tuesday, January 29 in Chicago, Illinois.
On Thursday, January 31, Smollett's family members spoke out about the alleged incident, insisting they are confident justice will be served, and now the 35-year-old is echoing their sentiments, insisting his story and statements to police investigators have remained consistent, despite differing accounts in the media.
"Let me start by saying that I'm OK," a statement to Essence magazine reads. "My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words."
"I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level," the statement continues. "Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served. As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process."
Smollett, who is scheduled to perform at Los Angeles venue The Troubadour on Saturday, February 02, is also vowing to stay positive while he processes the ordeal.
"Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love," the star adds. "It's all I know. And that can't be kicked out of me. With Love, respect & honor...Jussie."
Police officers are investigating the brutal incident and have released images of two people they want to question. However, the suspects have not been publicly identified and arrests have yet to be made.