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‘Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett Hospitalized In Alleged Racist/Homophobic Hate Crime

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UPDATE: Actor Jussie Smollett has broken his silence on the attack that he endured, exclusively to Essence.

“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett said in an exclusive statement to Essence on Friday. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words,” he added.

There have been false and inaccurate reports, mostly from right wing media, which Smollett challenges in his remarks.

“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served,” he says.

“As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process. Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me. With Love, respect & honor … Jussie.”


UPDATE: The letter sent to the studio where Empire is filmed prior to the attack contained a white powder, CNN reports. Chicago PD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that the powder-filled letter, received at Cinespace Studios Jan. 22, prompted a response from a HAZMAT unit, though its contents were later determined to be aspirin.


UPDATE: Jussie Smollett’s family has responded to the Chicago Police Department in a statement, per Buzzfeed News. Smollett is resting at home in recovery from his injuries.


UPDATE: Chicago Police Department said late Wednesday that detectives have found video footage of suspects who attacked “Empire” star Jussie Smollett. Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that potential people of interest were seen on the surveillance video and photos of the suspects are expected soon.


UPDATE: Here is the image of the persons of interest.

 

Detectives are seeking to identify and interview the two subjects depicted in the picture above, in order to determine whether they may have any involvement in the reported incident, or if they may have witnessed the incident. (Chicago Police)

Guglielmi said the pictures, in “really dark” frames do not show the attack or any contact between them and Smollett.

“They are outside on a street walking. They are in the area that we have determined it could have taken place… in the time and the area,’’ Guglielimi said. “It certainly leads us to have questions for them.’’

Now, detectives will backtrack to find them.

“They still have a lot more cameras to look at,’’ Guglielmi said. “But now that we’ve got potential persons of interest, the focus will be following their paths. Where did they come from and where did they go?”


Sources directly connected to Jussie tell TMZ, the actor arrived in Chicago from New York late Monday, and at around 2 AM he was hungry and went to a Subway. We’re told when he walked out, someone yelled, “Aren’t you that f***ot ‘Empire’ n*****?”

The 2 men — both white and wearing ski masks — viciously attacked Jussie as he fought back, but they beat him badly and fractured a rib. They put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they allegedly yelled, “This is MAGA country.”

Jussie was taken to Northwestern Memorial where he was treated. He was discharged later Tuesday morning.

ThatGrapeJuice.Net first posted this letter which was sent to Fox Studios in Chicago with cut out letters spelling, “You will die black f**.” Our sources say the letter was sent 8 days ago.

The envelope the letter arrived in appears to say MAGA in the upper left corner.

Chicago PD tells us they are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, and they are canvasing the area for any video.

The attack on the black actor, who came out as gay in 2015, is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

There have not been any arrests in connection to the incident, nor have any suspects been identified. Police said Tuesday night that they’d reviewed hundreds of hours of video at that point and were expanding the search area.

The suspects fled the scene after ambushing Smollett, who managed to take himself to Northwestern Hospital following the incident.

Chicago Police Department has released a statement on the possible hate crime.

The letter threatening Smollett before the attack was sent to the Fox studio in Chicago on Jan. 22, police said. The letter contained threatening language and was laced with a powdery substance that investigators believe was likely Tylenol.

The FBI is now investigating that prior threat, police said.

“Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline. The victim is fully cooperating with investigators and we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com,” police said in their earlier statement.

This story is developing. This will be updated.

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Incident at Clapham Junction Overground Station

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We are monitoring reports of an incident at Clapham Junction Overground station in London.

Several people on social media have reported emergency services are on scene;

Transport for London had earlier tweeted that services were delayed due to a trespassing incident.

NewsThisSecond spoke to one eyewitness who said he saw around a dozen police officers with a sniffer dog.

The Metropoliton Police told NewsThisSecond that it had no record of any of it’s officers attending an incident at the station.

We have reached out to British Transport Police for a statement.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated with further information.

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‪Earthquake jolts Southern California

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A Preliminary magnitude 6.6 earthquake has jolted SoCal.

Several counties and neighboring states reported feeling shaking.

More to come.

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Beth Chapman, Wife Of “Dog The Bounty Hunter” Passes Away At 51

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In this file photo, Beth Chapman at the 2013 CMT Music Awards on June 5, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (CREDIT: Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP)

Beth Chapman of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” fame has died, days after being placed on a medically-induced coma.


Duane “Dog” Chapman verified 51-year-old Beth’s passing in a tweet Wednesday, writing: “It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain. Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”

Chapman had posted a touching photo of his wife’s hand in the hospital Monday, joking about “how she is about HER NAILS!!”V

View image on Twitter

Chapman was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017, which resurfaced last year. She was placed into a medically-induced coma on Saturday.

Her daughter, Bonnie Chapman, posted a tribute on Instagram writing, “So thankful to call you my mother. Rest in Peace, mom. I love you so much.”

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