Empire star Jussie Smollett has broken down in his first TV interview about the homophobic attack that left him in hospital.

Smollett, 36, sat down with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America to discuss the assault that happened when he was walking home at 2am in Chicago last month.

The interview, which will air tomorrow, shows Smollett breaking down when Roberts asks if he feared for his life during the attack.


Chicago Police Department launched a hunt for his attackers who he said shouted 'This is MAGA country!' after punching his ribs, pouring bleach on him and tying a noose around his neck.

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Smollett says he was on the phone with his manager, Brandon Z. Moore, when the attack happened. Mr Moore says he heard the attackers yell "Empire f****t n****r" and shouting: "This is MAGA country!"

Smollett plays Jamal Lyon on Empire. Both he and his character are gay.

However, police say Smollett handed over heavily redacted phone records, which Chicago Police described as "insufficient proof" of the call.

Actor Jussie Smollett. Photo / Getty
Actor Jussie Smollett. Photo / Getty

A spokesman for Smollett said police did not express any concern to them about the phone records.

"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," he said. "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."