The Chicago Police Department said it is investigating 36-year-old Empire star Jussie Smollett’s report to authorities that he was assaulted early Tuesday morning by two suspects who yelled out “racial and homophobic slurs.” Smollett told police that the suspects hit him in the face around 2 a.m. and “poured an unknown chemical substance” on him before fleeing. A friend of Smollett called police from an apartment where he was interviewed. A police spokesperson said Smollett was still wearing the rope around his neck when police arrived. Smollett told authorities his attackers yelled “MAGA country.” The actor took himself to Northwestern Hospital and was released in “good condition,” authorities said. Police said they are investigating the “possible racially-charged assault and battery” as a potential hate crime, and are in possession of video that puts Smollett at the scene of the alleged crime, near the Chicago River waterfront downtown. The assailants have not yet been seen in surveillance footage, according to officials. Smollett has yet to comment on the alleged attack.
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