Jussie Smollett reflects on attack, aftermath on 'Good Morning America': 'I am not weak'

EMBED </>More Videos

Jussie Smollett attack: Exclusive GMA interview (1 of 3)

Jussie Smollett to GMA: 'I'm pissed off'

Jussie Smollett sat down with Robin Roberts for an exclusive interview on "Good Morning America."

Empire actor Jussie Smollett said he is "pissed off" about what happened to him on the night of Jan. 29 and what has happened since.

An exclusive interview with the actor aired Thursday morning on ABC's Good Morning America. Robin Roberts asked him what was making him so angry.

"It's the attackers, but also the attacks," he said, adding of those who don't believe his story, "It's not necessarily that you don't believe that this is the truth, you don't even want to see the truth."

The interview comes more than two weeks after Smollett told police that he was attacked in Chicago by two masked men yelling racial and homophobic slurs, including "MAGA Country." He said that the attackers poured a bleach-smelling liquid on him and put a noose around his neck.

Smollett said the attack was so quick that he didn't see much of his attackers. In fact, he said it was so fast he did not notice there was a rope around his neck until it was over.

"It was so fast," he said. "It felt like minutes, but it was probably like 30 seconds, honestly. I can't tell you, honestly."

He told Roberts he hesitated to call the police because of his pride.

"We live in a society where, as a gay man, you are considered somehow to be weak, and I am not weak," he said. "We as a people are not weak."

Smollett called the rumors he has heard about that night, such as the speculation that it was a date gone wrong, "offensive."

When asked why he thinks he was attacked, Smollett referenced Trump.

"I come really, really hard against 45. I come really, really hard against his administration," he said. "I don't hold my tongue."

Smollett said the experience has changed him forever.

"I don't subscribe to the idea that everything happens for a reason," he said, "but I do subscribe to the idea that we have the right and responsibility to make something meaningful out of the things that happen to us, good and bad."

The message he hopes to spread in the aftermath is one of empowerment for young people.

"I just want young people, young members of the LGBTQ community, young black children to know how strong that they are, to know the power that they hold in their little pinky," he said.

Smollett said that he "so badly" hopes video of the attack surfaces for multiple reasons. Among them, he said, he hopes that he can serve as an example for young gay people to see how hard he fought back.

The idea that the attackers may never be found angers him, Smollett said.

"I understand how difficult it will be to find them, but we gotta," he said. "I still want to believe, with everything that has happened, that there's something called justice."

Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for Chicago Police Department, watched the interview with CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Guglielmi said Smollett's comments on GMA are consistent with what he's told Chicago police. Unfortunately, police have no solid evidence to arrest anyone at this time.

WATCH: Bottle that smelled like bleach found near Smollett attack location
EMBED More News Videos

A New York Post reporter said they found an empty hot sauce bottle which was partially filled with a liquid that smelled like bleach near the location where "Empire" actor Jussie S



Earlier this week, Chicago police confirmed that an empty hot sauce bottle with a clear liquid that smelled like bleach was found by New York Post reporters in the area where the attack occurred. The Post claimed they found it near the foot of a stairwell to the Loews.

Smollett was attacked at about 2 a.m. in the 300 block of East North Water Street as he walked to a Subway in the Streeterville neighborhood.

However, CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said: "It's unclear if that is related to the incident as it was not discovered during any of the earlier canvasses but we took it for analysis. The FBI is providing CPD with technical assistance on this case at our request. I'm not sure if the bottle went to their lab or one of ours."

RELATED: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett was hesitant to report attack, Chicago police incident report says
EMBED More News Videos

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett submitted "limited and redacted" phone records to Chicago police from the night of his attack.



Earlier this week, Smollett provided "limited and heavily" redacted phone records from the night of the attack to Chicago police.

No one was in custody Wednesday and police have not been able to locate any surveillance video of the attack. Chicago police have released grainy surveillance images of two possible person of interest.

As rumors of a hoax swirl on social media Smollett's representatives said, "Chicago PD has repeatedly informed us that they find Jussie's account of what happened that night consistent and credible. Superintendent Johnson has been clear from day one that Jussie is a victim."

RELATED: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett attacked in Chicago in possible hate crime, police say

Prior to the attack, Smollett had received a letter threat sent to the FOX studio in Chicago which had threatening language and was laced with powdery substance, likely Tylenol. The FBI is investigating that threat.

In "Empire," Smollett plays Jamal Lyon, who is gay. In real life, Smollett has also come out as gay. He has been on the FOX show since 2015.

RELATED: Surveillance video shows potential persons of interest in Jussie Smollett attack, police say

Earlier this week, Smollett's rep, Chris Bastardi, of Sunshine Sachs, released a statement.

"Jussie is the victim here, which has been stated by the Superintendent of Police. Jussie has voluntarily provided his phone records from within an hour of the attack and given multiple statements to police. Chicago PD has repeatedly informed us that they find Jussie's account of what happened that night consistent and credible. Superintendent Johnson has been clear from day one that Jussie is a victim. We are continuing to work closely with the Chicago PD and remain confident that they will find Jussie's attackers and bring them to justice.

"Any redacted information was intended to protect the privacy of personal contacts or high-profile individuals not relevant to the attack.
"Chicago Police have not told us that they are rejecting any records, nor have they expressed concerns about the records to us. Therefore, we don't feel compelled to be bated into responding to uncorroborated press reports. We are dealing directly with the Chicago Police Department."


Anyone who has information pertinent to the investigation should call Area Central at 312-747-8382. Tips can be submitted anonymously at www.cpdtip.com.
Related Topics:
televisionactorattackracismdiscriminationchicago crimehate crimechicago police departmentu.s. & worldChicagoStreeterville
(Copyright ©2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)