There's been internet chatter questioning the validity of the story around Jussie Smollet's horrific homophobic and racist attack in Chicago. Not only has his family spoken up, but Jussie himself has broken his silence. The latest updates inside.
Just days after details surrounding his attack near his apartment in Chicagowere reported by police, Jussie Smollett is going on the offensive.
Apparently, some of the facts released by the Chicago police themselves wasn't necessarily true, this according to The Smolletts.
While police authorities said Jussie refused to turn over his phone and phone records to prove he was on the phone with the only (audio) witness of the attack so far, his manager, that's not the case.
Jussie Smollett did not refuse to hand over phone records to cops ... rather, he didn't want to turn over his phone ... sources directly connected to Jussie tell TMZ.
The sources say cops "informally asked" Jussie if he would surrender his phone ... to verify he was talking to his manager on his cell when he was attacked. We're told he felt "uncomfortable" doing that and declined, but he was never asked about phone records. A Chicago police official had said Jussie refused to turn over both the phone and records. We're told Smollett has already said he will provide the records, and is in the process of gathering them.
Police reported that Jussie told them his two attackers - who approached him while he went to a nearby Subway around 2am for a late night bite - yelled out MAGA Country, but he never told them they were wearing MAGA hats, despite this also being reported.
Sources also said he left the noose in tact around his neck to keep evidence in tact until police arrived at the apartment. He removed it before going to the hospital.
This morning, Jussie himself issued a statement thanking everyone for their support. And he also reiterated that while some misinformation has been shared, it wasn't of his doing. His story hasn't changed, and he has been "100% factual and consistent on every level."
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett began in his statement to ESSENCE. “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. ”
In his statement, Smollett also addressed the misinformation that has been circulating about the incident, and dispelling rumors on social media that his story changed.
Smollett said, “I am working with authorities and have been 100% 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. ”
“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 concluded. “Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.”
Smollett signed his statement by writing, “With Love, respect & honor…Jussie.”
Jussie's family, including his actress sister Jurnee Smollett Bell, have been swift in their response as well:
View this post on Instagram
Because there’s a light in him that cannot be dimmed, because we are a family of joyful warriors, we will not let this get the best of us. Although this is a picture from happier times, this is the spirit to which we chose to move forward...they will not steal, our joy. ________________________________________________________Statement from our family: “ In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. 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. We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world. With love & gratitude, The Smollett Family”
We truly wish Jussie the best in a speedy emotional, mental and physical recovery during this trying time. We do know he will be getting back in the swing of things tomorrow.
He arrived yesterday in L.A. ahead of his scheduled performance on Saturday at concert venue the Troubadour.