Jussie Smollett Flies to Los Angeles for Scheduled Show After Apparent Hate Crime: Report
The Empire star is scheduled to perform a sold-out concert at the Troubadour on Saturday
The Empire star, 36, landed in L.A. on Thursday ahead of his scheduled performance on Saturday at concert venue the Troubadour, according to TMZ.
The outlet also reports that Smollett will likely address Tuesday’s attack during the performance, which is currently sold out.
On Friday, Smollett spoke out for the first time about the incident, telling Essence in a statement: “Let me start by saying that I’m OK. 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.”
“I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” he continued. :Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served. 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.”
At around 2 a.m. in Chicago on Tuesday, Smollett transported himself to the hospital after he was the victim of an apparent hate crime.
The Chicago Police Department previously confirmed in a statement that a member of the hit Fox show was involved in a “racially-charged assault and battery.”
“Two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him,” continued the statement. “The offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim. At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck. The offenders fled the scene.”
In his second interview with police, Smollett said his attackers called out the abbreviation of President Donald Trump‘s slogan, “Make America Great Again,” according to a statement from the Chicago police previously obtained by PEOPLE.
Trump, 72, has denounced the assault.
“That, I can tell you, is horrible. I’ve seen it, last night,” he said while speaking with reporters Thursday at an Oval Office meeting. “I think that’s horrible.”
“It doesn’t get worse, as far as I’m concerned,” he said before returning to his argument for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
On Thursday, Smollett’s family released a statement about the attack.
“We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice,” they said. “Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed.”
On Wednesday, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi released an update on the case, revealing that investigators have acquired footage that could lead to the arrests of the Empire actor’s assailants. The police also released two photos of the persons of interest, however, the images did not show the individuals’ faces.
The latest in the investigation comes after Guglielmi told PEOPLE he was optimistic that video evidence will surface that will help them solve the apparent hate crime attack.
Describing the details of the allegations as “heinous,” Guglielmi said police had widened their search of surveillance cameras — both public and private — in the area surrounding where Smollett said he was attacked.
“The victim goes to Subway just after midnight and on his way back, he was attacked by two men,” Guglielmi stated. “They were masked and wearing black clothing. They called him an Empire … and they used a homophobic slur. They also used the N-word. They proceed to assault him, and they throw a chemical on him that may have been bleach, and put a rope around neck.”
Guglielmi said the actor returned to his apartment afterward and called his manager, who quickly made his way to Smollett’s home. “The manager goes to the apartment, and they agree to call police. The manager called us at 2:40 a.m.,” Guglielmi added.
Police patrols “responded to the residence to take a report and the victim was still wearing the rope around his neck when they arrived,” he said. “He explained to them why he had the rope around his neck, and the officers closed their body cams at his request, because they were in his private residence.”
Even before the incident, additional security had been hired for the Empire set after Fox Studios’ Chicago offices allegedly received a threatening homophobic letter addressed to Smollett, who is gay, last week.
The FBI, who has not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment, is investigating that alleged letter, Guglielmi previously told PEOPLE.