FBI trying to track person who sent Jussie Smollett threatening homophobic letter days before attack
The FBI is currently investigating a homophobic letter sent to actor Jussie Smollett days before he was the victim of a vicious hate crime in the hopes it will lead them to the perpetrator.
The Empire star was sent the threatening letter, which contained a white powder within the envelope, a week before he was violently attacked after leaving a fast-food restaurant in Chicago. A crude message scrawled in the letter read: "You will die black f*g."
During the assault on January 29, Smollett was beaten by two men wearing ski masks, who "poured an unknown liquid" over him and put a noose around his neck. The actor managed to fight them off, before admitting himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Luckily, he was not seriously injured and was released later that same morning.
Smollett has since made a public statement regarding the attack. "There are so many words on my heart that I want to say,” he said. "The most important thing that I can say, to keep it simple, thank you so much. I’m okay … I’m not fully healed yet, but I’m going to. I’m going to stand strong with y’all."
"I had to be here tonight. I couldn’t let those motherf*ckers win. So I will always stand for love, I will never stand for anything other than that. Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love. I hope that you all stand with me.
"Just because there has been a lot of stuff that has been said about me that is absolutely not true, there are just a couple of points that I wanted to make really quick. I was bruised, but my ribs were not cracked. I went to the doctor immediately - I was not hospitalized. Both my doctors in L.A. and Chicago cleared me to perform but said to take it easy, obviously. And, above all, I fought the f*ck back."
Smollett's family has also released an official statement, in which they said:
"We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice.
"Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed."
Our thoughts and prayers are with Smollett and his family during this difficult time. We can only hope that the people responsible are caught and brought to justice soon.