In his first interview since he was attacked on Jan. 29, Jussie Smollett sat with ABC News’ Robin Roberts to share his feelings about the incident and address the rumors that he might not be telling the truth about the attack, which is being investigated as a possible hate crime. The full segment will air Thursday morning on “Good Morning America.”
“I’m pissed off,” the actor told Roberts. “It’s like, you know, at first, it was a thing of, like, ‘Listen, if I tell the truth then that’s it,’ ’cause it’s the truth. Then it became a thing of like, ‘Oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how do you — how do you not believe that? It’s the truth,'” he said.
“And then it became a thing of like, ‘Oh, it’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth.”
Smollett, 36, plays a gay man on the Fox series “Empire,” and came out as gay himself in 2015. The police report details that the attackers approached him at 2 a.m., made homophobic slurs against him and hit him in the face with their hands. The attackers have yet to be identified.
According to the report, “The primary aggressor was wearing a black mask concealing any facial features and both offenders were dressed in black. The victim does not remember any other distinguishing features of the offenders, or in which direction they fled.”
Since the attack, Smollett has mostly stayed out of the public eye, stepping out only once to perform at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on Feb. 2.
“I’m not fully healed yet…but I’m going to be, and I’m gonna stand strong with y’all,” he told the crowd at the Troubadour. “I had to be here tonight, y’all. I couldn’t let those [expletive] win,” he added. “Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love and I hope that you all stand with me.”
Watch the excerpt below.