Jussie Smollett delivered a powerful speech during his first live show since he was attacked in a racist and homophobic incident earlier this week.
On Monday night, Jussie was approached by two men in Chicago, who used racist and homophobic slurs at him before beating him, pouring an unknown substance on him and tying a rope around his neck, before fleeing the scene.
After taking himself to hospital, the Empire actor was said to be “in good condition”, and despite the incident, went ahead with a planned live show in West Hollywood, where he addressed the attack.
He told his fans in attendance: “I had to be here tonight, y’all. I can’t let the motherfuckers win.
“The most important thing I have to say is thank you so much and that I’m okay. I’m not fully healed yet, but I’m going to. And I’m gonna stand strong with y’all.
“l will always stand for love. I will never stand for anything other than that. Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love. And I hope that you all will stand with me. So now… let’s do it.”
He ended the show with the message: “We are proud. We are gay.”
Jussie first addressed the attack earlier this week, stating: “My body is strong but my soul is stronger. 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.
“We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process… most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.”