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‘Empire’ cast member alleges homophobic attack in Chicago

January 29, 2019
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FILE - In this May 14, 2018 file photo, Jussie Smollett, a cast member in the TV series "Empire," attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation afterparty in New York. Chicago police have opened a hate crime investigation after a man the department identified as a 36-year-old cast member of the television show “Empire” alleged he was physically attacked by men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs. Police wouldn’t release the actor’s name, but a statement from the Fox studio and network on which “Empire” airs identified him Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, as Jussie Smollett.(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
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FILE - In this May 14, 2018 file photo, Jussie Smollett, a cast member in the TV series "Empire," attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation afterparty in New York. Chicago police have opened a hate crime investigation after a man the department identified as a 36-year-old cast member of the television show “Empire” alleged he was physically attacked by men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs. Police wouldn’t release the actor’s name, but a statement from the Fox studio and network on which “Empire” airs identified him Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, as Jussie Smollett.(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police have opened a hate crime investigation after a man the department identified as a 36-year-old cast member of the television show “Empire” alleged he was physically attacked by men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs.

Police wouldn’t release the actor’s name, but a statement from the Fox studio and network on which “Empire” airs identified him Tuesday as Jussie Smollett.

A statement from Chicago police says the man said he was walking downtown about 2 a.m. Tuesday when two men approached him shouting, then struck him in the face and poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him before one wrapped a rope around his neck.

Police say he was hospitalized in good condition.

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