By Ariel Scotti / January 29, 2019

“Empire” Star Jussie Smollett Attacked With Rope Around His Neck in Potential Hate Crime

The actor was punched repeatedly and had a chemical substance poured on him.

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Actor Jussie Smollett was arrested for allegedly lying about being attacked in Chicago. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Empire actor Jussie Smollett was attacked after leaving a Chicago restaurant  early Tuesday morning in what police are calling a possible hate crime.

The two suspects yelled racial and homophobic slurs at Smollett before punching him repeatedly, pouring an unknown chemical substance on him and wrapping a rope around his neck, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” police said in a statement.

Smollett was hospitalized for his injuries but his condition has not yet been released, THR reported. On the hit Fox show, the actor plays the gay son of Lucious (Terence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson).

Smollett himself identifies as gay, but prefers to keep his private life out of the spotlight.

“There is no closet, there’s never been a closet that I’ve been in,” he explained to Ellen DeGeneres in 2015.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, said it reached out to Fox and Smollett’s team to offer any help needed.

“Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world,” the organization said in a statement.

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