STRENGTH

Jussie Smollett Opens Concert by Saying He'll Stay ‘Strong’ After Attack

Empire actor Jussie Smollett vowed “I'm gonna stand strong with y'all” during a concert in Los Angeles on Saturday, several days after he was allegedly the victim of a vicious hate crime. Smollett, who is gay and black, told Chicago police on Tuesday that two masked men hurled homophobic and racist slurs at him, poured an unknown liquid on him, and looped a rope around his neck. “The most important thing I can say is thank you so much, and I'm OK,” Smollett told concert-goers in what’s reportedly his first public appearance since the incident. “I'm not fully healed yet,” added Smollett, “but I'm going to be, and I'm gonna stand strong with y'all.” “And above all, I fought the [expletive] back,” Smollett reportedly concluded to a cheering crowd: “I'm the gay Tupac.” No arrests have been made in relation to Smollett’s allegations.