Empire actor Smollett says he's OK at first show since alleged attack

Jussie Smollett Attack Chicago Police Release

Smollett, who appears in the popular show "Empire", still had a swollen knot on his face during the show, after two men allegedly beat him, poured what appeared to be bleach on him and draped a noose around his neck while using racist and homophobic slurs in Chicago on Tuesday. "I'm not fully healed yet, but I'm going to and I'm going to stand strong with you all".

At the end of his performance, Smollett clarified the extent of his injuries. And I'm gonna stand strong with y'all, and I had to be here tonight. He said he decided the show must go on because he didn't want his assailants to "win". "I will never stand for anything other than that", said the openly gay actor. "Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love and I hope you will all stand with me".

Later, in introducing a song about his boyfriend, Smollett said, "Over these last four days, my man". He said that his ribs were bruised, but not cracked. He went straight to the doctor but was not hospitalized, and physicians in both Chicago and Los Angeles cleared him to play but told him to be careful. And above all: "I fought the fuck back".

"The most important thing that I can say is to keep it simple and say thank you and I'm okay", Smollett told the cheering Troubadour crowd, which included Empire co-creator Lee Daniels and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Smollett told police he was verbally and physically assaulted in downtown Chicago in the early morning hours of January 29 while walking home from a Subway restaurant.

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A surveillance video was released showing two people of interest walking along a snow-covered street near where the beating took place.

After reviewing hundreds of hours of footage, local police have so far failed to identify any suspects for the attack, while it emerged on Friday that Smollett had refused to turn over his cell phone records to investigators. They have, however, obtained images of people they'd like to question and say Smollett has been co-operative with the investigation. He was accompanied at the concert by his siblings, including brother Jocqui, who told the crowd that "my family realized that tonight was an important part of Jussie's healing.... on behalf of the Smollett family, we are so proud of our brother".

A year ago he released a solo album, "Sum of My Music, which made up much of Saturday night's set".

He was joined in jubilant dance by his family members during his encore. They've also taken possession of the rope.

"To be honest, as his big brother, I wanted him to sit this one out", Joel Smollett Jr. said.

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