‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett angry that some doubt he was attacked


FILE PHOTO: Jussie Smollett performs a tribute to President’s Award recipient John Legend at the 47th NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, California February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

(Reuters) – Actor Jussie Smollett said he was angry that some people doubted his statement that he was attacked outside his Chicago apartment in January.

Smollett, 36, an openly gay African-American who plays a gay character on the hip-hop drama “Empire,” made the comments in an interview with ABC News that is set to air on “Good Morning America” on Thursday. An interview clip was posted online.

“I’m pissed off,” Smollett told ABC News’ Robin Roberts. “It’s the attackers, but it’s also the attacks.”

Smollett told Chicago police he was attacked on Jan. 29 by two men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him and put a rope around his neck.

The news sparked outrage on social media, but some questioned Smollett’s account. The Chicago police have not found any surveillance video evidence and have made no arrests.

“At first it was a thing of ‘Like, listen, if I tell the truth, then that’s it — cause it’s the truth,’” he said. “Then it became a thing of ‘Like, oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how do you not believe that?’ It’s the truth.”

Chicago police said they are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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