Jussie Smollett
**FILE** Jussie Smollett speaks at the Children's Defense Fund California's 28th Annual Beat The Odds Awards at Skirball Cultural Center on Dec. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

“Empire” star Jussie Smollett has spoken out for the first time after an alleged attack he said was fueled by racism and homophobia.

“My body is strong, but my soul is stronger,” Smollett, 35, said in a statement issued Friday to Essence. “More importantly, I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words.”

Smollett was allegedly beaten by two masked men early Tuesday morning shortly after leaving a Subway restaurant in Chicago. The actor, who said a rope was tied around his during the attack, took himself to the hospital afterward, according to police.

In his statement, Smollett expressed his “frustrations” with rumors about the incident that left him with a broken rib and facial scars.

“I am working with authorities and have been 100 percent factual and consistent on every level,” he said. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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