×

Jussie Smollett Reveals He’s ‘Pissed Off’ in First Interview Since Attack

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.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo

    Moody Blues' Justin Hayward Isn't Burning Up Over What Got Lost in the Fire

    Nobody called Justin Hayward about the fire on the Universal Studios Hollywood lot — not Universal Music Group, certainly, but also no reporters. “There were much more important people to call or to speak about that,” Hayward says, in his typically self-effacing, English way. The New York Timesrecently blew the lid off of the 2008 [...]

  • Album Review: Brockhampton's 'Ginger'

    Album Review: Brockhampton's 'Ginger'

    It is a testament to the sheer creative force and prolific output of their last two breakout years that, though the members are only in their early 20s, Brockhampton has settled into a kind of artistic maturity on their new record, “Ginger.” In 2017, Brockhampton burst into the hip-hop consciousness offering a bold paradigm shift [...]

  • Taylor SwiftTeen Choice Awards, Arrivals, Los

    Taylor Swift Says She's 'Remorseful' For Not Getting Involved in 2016 Election

    Taylor Swift says she feels “really remorseful for not saying anything” during Trump’s run for presidency in 2016, per an interview with the Guardian published today. The singer points to her negative public image during the time of the election as one reason she stayed uninvolved, but explained that she would’ve endorsed Hillary Clinton for [...]

  • Lil Nas XCMA Fest, Nashville, USA

    Will Grammys' Country Categories Welcome a New Tide of Black Artists?

    Country music has never been known as a bastion of diversity. Even in this era of female empowerment, the genre remains largely a man’s world  —  make that a white man’s world. But things might be improving slowly, in the industry as a whole and, by extension, maybe even with Grammy voters. When the nominees are [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • DJ Khaled Bad Boys

    DJ Khaled's Long Tail? Three Months After Release, 'Father of Asahd' Has Legs

    DJ Khaled kicked off the summer with a bang, appearing on the season closer of “Saturday Night Live” in May followed by a performance on the BET Awards a month later — both all-star productions of songs from his latest album, “Father of Asahd,” released by Epic Records on May 17. But since then, he’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content