The information comes after Chicago police on Thursday announced they had identified and were questioning two persons of interest in the attack, which Smollett said occurred in the early morning hours of January 29 by two men who yelled racist and homophobic language before and during his brutal attack. "Some are healing and some are hurtful, but I just want young people, young members of the LGBTQ community - young, black children - to know how strong that they are". He said he's heard various stories about people questioning the attack, which he said occurred while he was out getting food at a Subway restaurant. In a new interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, Smollett discussed the incident, as well as the many "doubters" who have questioned his story.
"I've heard that it was a date gone bad, which I so resent that narrative", Smollett said.
Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, said about the Smollett case, "why all of a sudden do we have people unable to study while black, unable to mow a lawn while black, unable to have picnic while black, and being attacked It's coming from the president of the United States". Smollett had turned in his phone records to provide evidence of the attack, but had removed a number of calls prior to handing them over. The two men are said to have put a rope around Smollett's neck before fleeing, and then Smollett transported himself to a hospital. More importantly, I want to say thank you. "They did", Smollett said, referring to his attackers.
"We are continuing to work closely with the Chicago PD and remain confident that they will find Jussie's attackers and bring them to justice". Along with allegedly calling him "n***er" and "f***ot", he says they yelled, "This is MAGA country!" "That says a lot about the place that we are in our country right now". "So I punched his a- back and then we started tussling".
The statement comes less than 24 hours after police said that Smollett's phone records did not meet the "the burden for a criminal investigation".
He said he texted his manager, Brandon Moore, who he believed to be in Australia with another client, and left a message for Moore to call him. "They ran off, I didn't". He also quoted a "top source" as saying, "We [investigators] believe the non-cooperating 2 witnesses are co-conspirators in a potentially staged attack".
"I don't know", Smollett said, as his eyes filled with tears".
In the show, Smollett plays a gay man, but he also identifies as gay in real life.