8:20 PM PT: — Jussie’s famous sister, actress Jurnee Smollett Bell, just broke her silence on her brother’s attack.
“Because there’s a light in him that cannot be dimmed, because we are a family of joyful warriors, we will not let this get the best of us,” she wrote along with posting a family photo. “Although this is a picture from happier times, this is the spirit to which we chose to move forward…they will not steal, our joy.”
The family of Jussie Smollett is speaking out following the attack this week against the “Empire” star.
“In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack,” the statement began. “We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime.”
They continued, “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.”
The family went on to say, “We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender nonconforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Often times ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable.”
The Smollets concluded by saying, “Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and injustice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.”
On Wednesday night, police released a photo of the potential suspects, which shows two men wearing dark clothing. Detectives are reviewing more camera, but are looking to question the two individuals seen in the photo.
Police say the two people were seen walking near the location of the incident between 1:30 AM and 1:45 AM and are trying to determine if they witnessed the incident, or were possibly involved.
As we reported, police have been combing the area near Smollett’s luxury high-rise apartment ever since he claims to have been attacked in a racial and homophobic-fueled tirade.
Jussie Smollett was seen with a cut under his eye after video chatting with “Empire” co-creator Lee Daniels. The star also claims a noose was put around his neck and bleach thrown at his face during the early morning assault.
Police make it clear they want to speak with the two people seen in the video, but they have not yet been identified.