Jussie Smollett strikes emotional chord: Attackers won’t win

Addressing the Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood, with a crowd that included Congresswoman Maxine Waters, filmmaker Lee Daniels, and actor Wilson Cruz., the Empire star declared: "I had to be here tonight, y'all".

He also clarified while on stage on Saturday that his ribs were bruised during the attack but not cracked, and that he had been medically cleared to perform.

"I'm not fully healed yet, but I'm going to, and I'm going to stand strong with you all", he told the crowd as fans cheered.

"And above all, I fought the fuck back", he added, receiving applause. "I couldn't let those (expletives) win", he said to screams and cheers from the packed room. More importantly I want to say thank you.

"To be honest, as his big brother, I wanted him to sit this one out", Joel Smollett Jr. said.


Later, in introducing a song about his boyfriend, Smollett said, "Over these last four days, my man". Take love back. We have to take it back because it was ours to begin with.

Chicago police have released photos of potential persons of interest in the attack and are asking for the public's help in identifying who they are.

Actor Jussie Smollett defended as completely truthful the account he gave of being accosted on a Chicago street by men who used racist and homophobic slurs and said on Friday he was cooperating with police.

Smollett also stressed that he fought back against his attackers.

"Powering through whatever has happened and really making it less about himself and more about what's going on in our society, I think, is something I'm definitely down to hear so that's why I came", said Jael Allen, who says she bought tickets after hearing about the attack.


At the end of his show right before doing an encore, Jussie Smollett wanted to confirm a few details regarding his attack.

Jussie Smollett gave his first live performance in Los Angeles since being attacked by two "MAGA supporters". Family members and others had urged Smollett to cancel the show while he recovers and police investigate.

Last week, Smollett issued a statement to Essence that read: "My body is strong but my soul is stronger".

"The most important thing I can say is thank you so much, and I'm OK", Smollett said, according to the Associated Press. Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love.

Smollett plays Jamal Lyon in Empire, which is now in its fifth season on Fox. He said they punched him, hurled racist and homophobic insults at him, poured an unknown chemical substance on him and wrapped a rope around his neck.


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