Jussie Smollett opened up to GMA‘s Robin Roberts and told his story about the alleged racist and homophobic attack which occurred in Chicago two weeks ago.
The Empire star gave a very detailed description of what happened and also answered a lot of the questions that critics and doubters have had about his story. He repeated his account of the attack, that he went to Subway to get a late-night bite to eat and was approached by masked men who shouted racist and homophobic remarks and then punched him in the face.
Smollett says he gave police a description of their body type and believes 100 percent that the two men in the surveillance photo released by police are the attackers.
Smollett told police he was on the phone with his manager when the attack occurred, but investigators say he has refused to hand over his phone. Smollett explained that his phone contains private photos, songs, contacts and other information that he doesn’t want accidentally leaked.
As for why it took so long for him to call 911, he explained that “there was a level of pride” and he didn’t want to look weak. But when police finally came about 30 minutes later, he showed them the bruises on his face and the rope burn on his neck.
Smollett said he believes the cloud of doubt around his story is also rooted in racism. He says, “If I had said it was a Muslim or Mexican or someone black, 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.”
He also believes he was targeted because of his outspoken criticism of President Trump. He says, “I come really really hard against 45. I come really really hard against his administration and I don’t hold my tongue.” Smollett says the attack has forever changed him and he believes he has the responsibility to make something meaningful out of what happened.