Jussie Smollett Attack: Fox Boss Addresses 'Tragic' Incident as He Returns to Work
By Jennifer Drysdale
Jussie Smollett has the Fox team behind him, the network's CEO, Charlie Collier, told reporters at Fox's Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday. The actor was the target of a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago last week.
"First of all, on any situation like that, the first thing I’ll say is that my heart goes out to Jussie and everyone involved. It really is a tragic thing," Collier said. "He’s an important and so talented member of the Fox family, and our heart goes out to him."
"There is an ongoing criminal investigation, so I won't go deeper than that, except to say it’s been really gratifying to watch the creative community rally around him," he continued, adding that at this time, Fox is not announcing whether Empire has been renewed for another season.
ET learned on Wednesday that Smollett was back to work on the Empire set this week. Security has been present and is of importance to everyone. ET has also learned that Smollett is healing well.
"There's a lot of stuff that's been said about me that is absolutely not true," Smollett said. "I was bruised but my ribs were not cracked. They were not broken."
"I went to the doctor immediately. Frank Gatson drove me, I was not hospitalized," he added. "Both my doctors in L.A. and Chicago cleared me to perform, but said to take care, obviously."
"And above all I fought the f**k back," he concluded.
As previously reported, a source told ET that Smollett was walking around Chicago early last Tuesday morning when two men started yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him, before repeatedly hitting him. The men then poured a substance on him (believed to be bleach), according to the source, and one of the attackers put a rope around his neck. Smollett was then taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.