Jussie Smollett is speaking out about the Chicago attack that left him hospitalized, and again pushing back on rumors that he lied about the homophobic and racist incident.
In a preview of his first interview since the attack in which two men assaulted him, even placing a noose around his neck, Smollett speaks to Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts, telling her he’s “pissed” that so many have doubted his story.
“I’m pissed off. 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,” Smollett said. “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.'”
“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,” he added.
The Empire actor has shied away from the spotlight since the attack, but during a performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles earlier this month, Smollett said that he’s not fully healed, but “I’m going to be, and I’m gonna stand strong with y’all.”
In a statement to ESSENCE, the actor added, “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. “