West Hollywood, CA – Empire star Jussie Smollett performed at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, California on Saturday night (February 2). The performance marked the first time he’d been on stage since he was assaulted in Chicago on January 29.
Smollett’s family opened up the show with their own speech before giving him the stage. The actor/singer was obviously dealing with a lot of emotions but managed to address the fans in attendance with a clear message.
“I have so many words on my heart that I wanna say,” he said. “The most important thing I have to say is thank you so much and that I’m OK … I’m not fully healed yet, but I’m going to. And I’m gonna stand strong with y’all. It sounds … I had to be here tonight, y’all. It sounds proud, but I couldn’t let those motherfuckers win.”
He added, “I 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 thank you.”
— Zulekha Nathoo (@ZulekhaNathoo) February 3, 2019
Later in the show, Smollett took an opportunity to clarify what injuries he suffered in the alleged hate crime.
“I was bruised but my ribs were not cracked, they were not broken,” he explained. “I went to the doctor immediately … I was not hospitalized. Both my doctors in L.A. and Chicago cleared me to perform but said to take care, obviously. And above all, I fought the fuck back.”
— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) February 3, 2019
Smollett’s speech at The Troubadour wasn’t the first time the singer has publicly spoken about the hate-fueled assault, which was allegedly perpetrated by two masked attackers shouting racial and homophobic slurs. Last Friday (February 1), he issued an official statement to the press.
“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett stated. “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. I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level. Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”