Chicago police investigate 'Empire' star's reported assault
CNN’s Don Lemon spoke to Jussie Smollett and a mutual friend who was at the hospital with the “Empire” actor.
Lemon says Smollett confirmed the incident happened and was shaken and angry that an attack like this could happen. Smollett said he fought back.
The star of the tv show "Empire," Jussie Smollett, was attacked by two assailants early Monday morning in Downtown Chicago according to Chicago Police Department Spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi.
Smollett, 36, was walking on the 300 block of E. North Lower Water Street when two men approached him and “gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him,” Guglielmi says in a statement.
Two unknown offenders -- it is unknown if they were male or female -- then attacked Smollett, hitting him in the face and then poured an unknown chemical substance on him.
At some point during the scuffle, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck and then both offenders fled the scene, the statement reads.
Smollett transported himself to Northwestern Hospital and is good condition. "Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime," the police statement said.
Chicago Police Detectives are currently gathering surveillance video, identifying potential witnesses and establishing an investigative timeline.
CNN has reached out to Smollett for comment.
This post was updated.