Jussie Smollett spoke out for the first time since he was brutally attacked in an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America.
The Empire star claims he was verbally and physically attacked by two men around 2 a.m. on January 29. Smollett stated that the attack was racially motivated and homophobic. The attackers allegedly hit him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him.
“The primary aggressor was wearing a black mask concealing any facial features and both offenders were dressed in black,” the report said. “The victim does not remember any other distinguishing features of the offenders, or in which direction they fled.”
When asked why he thinks the two men seen on surveillance video are his attackers, Smollett responded, “Cause … I was there.”
“For me, when that was released, I was like, ‘Okay. We’re getting somewhere,’ you know what I’m saying?” he added. “I don’t have any doubt in my mind that that’s them. Never did.”
“I’m not fully healed yet…but I’m going to be, and I’m gonna stand strong with y’all,” he told the crowd.
“I had to be here tonight, y’all. I couldn’t let those [expletive] win,” he added. “Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love and I hope that you all stand with me.”
“What is it that has you so angry? Is it the…attackers,” Roberts asked.
“Attackers, but it’s also the attacks,” Smollett responded. “It’s like, you know, at first, it was a thing of, like, ‘Listen, if I tell the truth then that’s it, ’cause it’s the truth.” Then it became a thing of like, ‘Oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how do you– how do you not believe that? It’s the truth.'”
“I have to acknowledge the lies, and the hate. And it feels like if I had said it was a Muslim, or a Mexican, or someone black, I feel like the doubters would have supported me much more. A lot more. And that says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now,” Smollett expressed.
“It’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth,” he added.
“For me, the main thing was the idea that I somehow switched up my story, you know? And that somehow maybe I added a little extra trinket, you know, of the MAGA thing,” Smollett said. “I didn’t need to add anything like that. They called me a f—-, they called me a n—-. There’s no which way you cut it. I don’t need some MAGA hat as the cherry on top of some racist sundae.”
Smollett sustained injures during the attack, but some still think he made the entire story up. Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department said Smollett’s phone records could not be used as evidence because “they do not meet the burden for a criminal investigation as they were limited and heavily redacted.”
When Smollett was asked on GMA why he wouldn’t give the police his phone, he said, “They wanted me to give my phone to the tech for three to four hours. I’m sorry but — I’m not gonna do that,” the singer said. “Because I have private pictures and videos and numbers: my partner’s number, my family’s number, my castmate’s number, my friends’ numbers, my private emails, my private songs, my private voice memos.”