Jussie Smollet performs at 2018 LOVELOUD Festival Powered By AT&T on July 28, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Photo: Jerod Harris (Getty Images for LOVELOUD Festival)

Following the horrific report of the homophobic and racist attack against Jussie Smollett and the tsunami of commentary that followed, it was important to give him space.

I knew he would say his piece when he was ready and willing, and that time has come.

“Let me start by saying that I’m OK,” Smollett told Essence in an official statement. “My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words.”

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He did make a point to note how the disgusting attack is bigger than him; it’s not an isolated incident. The 35-year-old actor-singer vows to use his platform to discuss the ongoing issues that plague the LGBTQ+ community and the intersections within it, but of course, he needs time to process the trauma he’s experienced.

“As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender conforming siblings daily,” he said. “I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident. We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process,” he concluded. “Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It’s all I know. And that can’t be kicked out of me.”

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And, yes, he addressed any conspiracy theories or accusations that he and his camp are falsifying any information involving with the incident.

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“I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level,” Smollett confirmed. “Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.”