By Rachel DeSantis
New York Daily News
“Empire” star Jussie Smollett was hospitalized Tuesday in Chicago after he was targeted by two attackers who hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him and tied a rope around his neck.
The incident is being investigated by the Chicago Police Department as a possible hate crime, chief spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
Smollett, 36, was walking in the city early Tuesday when he was approached by his attackers, who earned his attention by shouting racial and homophobic slurs in his direction.
The pair then beat up the actor with their hands, poured an unknown chemical substance on him and wrapped a rope around his neck before fleeing the scene.
Smollett took himself to Northwestern Hospital, and is currently in good condition.
TMZ reports Smollett’s attackers were two white men who yelled, “This is MAGA country,” while carrying out the assault.
The gossip site also reports that the chemical substance was bleach, and that Smollett suffered a fractured rib, but has since been released from the hospital.
A rep for the star did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Smollett is a former child star who has appeared in films like “The Mighty Ducks” and “North,” though his most notable role is as Jamal Lyon in the Fox drama “Empire.”
He’s been a series regular since the show premiered in 2015, and has won a slew of NAACP Image Awards for the role.
Smollett came out as gay in 2015 on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
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