Police launch hate crime investigation after ‘Empire’ cast member reports attack

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CHICAGO — Chicago police have opened a hate crime investigation after a cast member of the television show “Empire” alleged he was attacked by men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him and physically attacked him.

Police haven’t released the name of the 36-year-old cast member, but WGN reported it to be Jussie Smollett.

The actor told police he was attacked while walking downtown around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the man reported that two men approached him and began shouting at him. He says they then struck him in the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on him before one of them wrapped a rope around his neck.

The man went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Guglielmi says the man is being treated at the hospital and is in good condition.

Police say detectives are gathering security video from nearby businesses.

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