Jussie Smollett has some strong words for anybody who doubts he was the victim of a hate crime in Chicago last month.
The Empire actor tells Robin Roberts at Good Morning America in an advance preview of his upcoming interview that he’s “pissed off” by suggestions that he might not have been truthful in his police report.
“What is it that has you so angry? Is it the…attackers?” Roberts asked.
“Attackers, but it’s also the attacks,” Smollett replied. “It’s like, you know, at first, it was a thing of, like, ‘Listen, if I tell the truth then that’s it, ’cause it’s the truth.’ Then it became a thing of like, ‘Oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how do you — how do you not believe that? It’s the truth.’ And then it became a thing of like, ‘Oh, it’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth.'”
The 36-year old, who plays a gay musician on the Fox drama, says he was attacked by two unidentified assailants while walking home around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. He said the attackers abused him with racial and homophobic slurs, hung a rope around his neck, and doused him with a liquid that might have been bleach. An ongoing police investigation has been unable to find surveillance footage of the attack or suspects matching Smollett’s description yet also do not have the actor’s entire walk home on camera. There’s also been some delay in Smollett giving the police his phone records in a form that the authorities find acceptable (he says he was on the phone with his manager at the time of the attack). Some outlets have suggested Smollett might have perpetuated a “hoax.”
Smollett’s full interview will air Thursday morning on GMA.