“Empire” star Jussie Smollett says he was attacked in Chicago by two brutes who spewed racist and homophobic slurs at him. They perpetrators also doused him with a “chemical substance” and tied a rope around his neck, police said.
“The Chicago Police Department received a report of a possible racially charged assault and battery involving a cast member of the television show ‘Empire,’” the department said in a statement.
“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime.”
The openly gay 35-year-old Smollett, who plays singer-songwriter Jamal Lyon on the hit Fox series, was walking in the city 29 January 2019 when “two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him,” according to police.
They then “began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim,” while “one of the offenders wrapped a rope around” his neck — before both fled the scene, cops said.
Police said Smollett took himself to a hospital, where he was in “good condition” and, a source told The Post, he was released later the same day.
TMZ, citing “sources directly connected to Jussie,” alleged the assailants also yelled, “This is MAGA country,” during the assault, but a Chicago police spokeswoman told The Post cops “don’t have confirmation on that yet.”
“You will die black f–”
The attack comes eight days after a letter was sent to Smollett via Fox Studios with cut-out letters reading, “You will die black f–,” TMZ also reported, alongside photos of the vile note.
News of the attack prompted an outpouring of support for Smollett from fellow actors and “Empire” colleagues, including from the show’s co-creator Lee Daniels, who said in an Instagram video it was “just another f–king day in America.”
“You didn’t deserve nor anybody deserves to have a noose put around your neck, to have bleach thrown on you, to be called ‘die f—-t,’ ‘n—-r’ or whatever they said to you,” an emotional Daniels said.
“You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that. It starts at home. It starts at home, yo. We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are.”
A number of politicians also weighed in — including Democratic presidential contender Kamala Harris, who labeled the assault a “modern-day lynching.”
“No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate,” the California senator tweeted.