Jussie Smollett is speaking for the first time since he was the victim of a brutal attack in Chicago, thanking fans for the rain of support he received.
"Let me start by saying I'm fine," Smollett said in a statement to ESSENCE. "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 meant more than I could ever truly express in words. "
Smollett continued: "I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent at all levels. Despite my frustrations and deep concern about certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have spread, I still believe that justice will be served. "
He concluded by saying, "As my family has stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers, and siblings who are not twins on a daily basis. I am not and should not be regarded as an isolated incident. We'll talk soon and I'll cover all the details of this horrible incident, but I need a moment to process. More importantly, during periods of trauma, mourning and pain, there is still the responsibility to lead with love. That's all I know. And this can not be cast out of me.
Jussie Smollett's family issued a statement Thursday, saying in part: "We want people to understand that these hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers, and our non-conforming siblings, many of whom reside at the intersection of multiple identities. , weekly and sometimes even daily throughout our country. Often, fatally ending, these are inhuman acts of domestic terrorism and must be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. "
Smollett's sister, Jurnee Smollett Bell, added, "Because there is a light in him that can not be obscured because we are a family of joyful warriors, we will not let this get the better of us," she wrote while posting a family photo . "Although this is an image of happier times, this is the spirit for which we chose to advance … they will not steal, our joy."