Jussie Smollett, a black, openly gay actor best known for his work in Fox's "Empire," was assaulted in Chicago by two people carrying a noose and an unidentified "chemical substance" in what police are calling a "possible racially-charged assault and battery."
Smollett, 35, was walking on the 300th block of E. North Lower Water Street around 2 a.m. local time on Tuesday, "when two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him," the Chicago Police Department said in a statement to The Washington Post. "The offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim."
The police could not confirm the gender of the offenders nor identify the chemical substance.
"At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim's neck," the statement continued.
Eventually, the offenders fled the scene, and Smollett transported himself to Northwestern Hospital "and is in good condition."