Jussie Smollett, after his attack on 29th January 2019, sat with ABC News’ Robin Roberts for his first interview. In that interview, published on the 15th of February 2019, Jussie detailed the night of his attack. He said the attack happened at about 2am as he was leaving a Subway Restaurant in Chicago.
According to him, the two attackers got his attention by yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him, and they put a noose around his neck and poured an unknown substance, likely bleach, on him.
When asked why he hesitated to call the police. He responded by saying, “there’s a level of pride there. We live in a society where, as a gay man you’re considered to be somehow weak. And I’m not weak; we [the gay community] are not weak. I’m glad that Frank reported it.” This was at the center of all he said throughout the interview: his pride, how society considers gay people and his empowerment of gay men. What he didn’t, however, add was that any of it be done by violence.
ABC News’ Robin Roberts asked him what he would say to a young gay man and this was his answer: “learn to fight; learn to be a fighter. I’m not advocating violence…”
The two attackers, in a new twist to the case, have alleged that Jussie Smollett paid them to orchestrate and stage the attack on him. According to them, Smollett was upset that the threatening letter sent to Empire studios didn’t receive enough attention. Jussie’s attorney in response to this new twist said: ‘Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he’s familiar with. He [Jussie Smollett] has now been victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth, and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.’ The threatening letter is now gaining serious attention as journalists are asking whether he sent them himself.
Today on ABC News, the police released a formal statement calling Jussie Smollett’s attack fake. He’s been charged a felony, for filing a fake report.