Jussie Smollett has broken silence for the first time since he was the victim of a homophobic and racist attack.
According to THR, the Empire actor said he is much stronger and is grateful to all those who have stood by his side since the news of the attack surfaced.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett said in a statement to Essence on Friday. “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.”
He also addressed the claims on social media that he has changed his story and details about the incident. “I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served,” he said.
“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,” he continued in the statement. “Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief, pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.”
The statement concluded with Smollett’s signing, “With Love, respect & honor…Jussie.”