According to TMZ, Smollett told the police in an interview that his assailants yelled “MAGA country” during the attack. The Chicago Police Department confirmed this information and told E! News in a statement, “In the initial reports there was no mention of MAGA. When detectives followed up with [Smollett] later in the day, he recalled the offenders making those comments and detectives completed a supplemental report.”
Police are still seeking information and evidence about the case. Variety reports that the show will continue to film as scheduled.
Empire star Jussie Smollett has been hospitalized after being attacked in Chicago early Tuesday.
Shortly after arriving in the city from New York, Smollett was walking when two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him. The offenders began to batter Smollett with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.
During the attack, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around Smollett’s neck. The offenders later fled the scene and Smollett was self-transported to Northwestern Hospital and he is said to currently be in good condition.
The statement continues, “The victim is fully cooperating with investigators and we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com.”
Smollett posted video to Instagram Story late Monday, showing him taking off from LaGuardia Airport. After a long travel day, the 35-year-old actor shared a smiling photo of himself to Instagram with the caption, “#Mood after spending 7 hours on a plane for a 2 hour flight but finally landing all good. Love y’all. Goodnight #WinterVortexIsHurr #ChicagoWeatherAintNoJoke #Smile #troubadourFeb2 #Freedom.”
According to TMZ, after Smollett arrived in Chicago around 2 a.m., he was hungry and went to a Subway. The attack reportedly occurred as he was leaving.
(This article was originally published on Jan. 29 at 8:45 a.m.)