The FBI has joined the investigation into the brutal attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett. According to ABC News, federal authorities will assist the Chicago Police Department into the case, which is currently being investigated as a “possible” hate crime.
The 35-year-old actor transported himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital Tuesday (Jan. 29) morning, after being beaten by two white men in ski-masks who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him.
Smollett attempted to fight back but the attackers doused him with bleach and wrapped a noose around his neck, before fleeing the scene.
Smollett was leaving a Subway restaurant when the men began yelling to get his attention. He told police that the men also yelled, “This is MAGA country,” during the attack. Though Smollett did not suffer life-threatening injuries, he was left shaken by the assault. The vicious incident comes about a week after he received a letter threatening his life.
The Empire cast was informed about the horrific assault on Smollett during a meeting Tuesday morning. The cast will now receive armed security as an added precaution.