Why 'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Declined Security Before Brutal Attack
By James Dinh
January 30, 2019
Empire star Jussie Smollett didn't want to be overwhelmed by security when he wasn't working even though he received an offer by Fox Studios a week before his brutal attack.
On Wednesday (January 30), sources close to the situation told TMZ that security for the Empire cast was amped up last week after the network received a threatening, homophobic letter addressed to Smollett. Fox made the call to beef up bodyguards for everyone on set and specifically wanted to give Smollet additional protection around the clock. Unfortunately, he declined the offer because he didn't want to go about an "intrusive way of living" with extra security during off-hours. While Smollett missed out on shooting on Tuesday to recover from his injuries, sources told TMZ that he plans to return to the set soon, with production reshuffling their schedule to accommodate for the star. Moving forward, the actor will have 24/7 armed security, at least until his two attackers are apprehended.
As we reported, Smollett was brutally attacked and hospitalized in Chicago on Tuesday morning around 2 AM by two men wearing ski masks. Smollett had just arrived in Chicago from New York and made a late-night run to Subway when someone yelled: "Aren't you that f**got Empire n**ga?" Both of the Caucasian men proceeded to attack the actor as he fought back, but they ended up beating him up and fracturing his rib. They also put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and yelled "This is MAGA country" during the incident. Smollett was admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and has since been released.
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