Jussie Smollett, star of the critically acclaimed TV show Empire, was brutally attacked around 2 a.m. on Tuesday (Jan. 29) in Chicago. In the wake of the tragic news, stars – from John Legend to Olivia Munn, Ellen DeGeneres and Reese Witherspoon – have taken to social media to send their love and support to the actor.
The 35-year-old actor was attacked by two men in ski masks, TMZ reported, who recognized Jussie from the popular show. According to a statement from the Chicago Police Department shared on Twitter, the incident is being investigated as a hate crime. The star was taken to the hospital, and well-wishes for the award-winning actor came flooding in.
Chrissy Teigen's husband John was one of the first to reach out on Twitter, writing his family supports him and prays "that you find peace and justice."
Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 29, 2019
Reese wrote on Twitter that she's "praying for your recovery" after the "truly horrible racist, homophobic hate crime."
This is beyond upsetting. What happened to @JussieSmollett is a truly horrible racist, homophobic hate crime. I hope we can find an end to the hate and fear that plagues this country. Praying for your recovery, Jussie. https://t.co/9llTsCYKYQ
— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) January 29, 2019
Actress Zendaya, too, wrote that she hopes "there is justice," while Olivia asserted "Jussie's life matters" in an emotionally charged tweet the day the tragedy took place.
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) January 29, 2019
Jussie Smollett was violently attacked by two white men who poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck. He was targeted for being black and for being gay. THIS is why we have to have zero tolerance against homophobia and racism. Jussie’s life matters.
— Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) January 29, 2019
Four years ago, Ellen wrote on Twitter, Jussie came out on her TV show – something the 61-year-old is famous for having done on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997. "I'm sending him and his family so much love today," she tweeted.
Four years ago, @JussieSmollett came out on my show. I’m sending him and his family so much love today. ❤️
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 29, 2019
what happened to jussie makes me really fucking sick to my stomach. i can’t believe shit like this is really still happening everyday. what kind of world ? sending all of the healing energy / love i possibly can and hoping for change. what can we do ? tell me & i’m there.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) January 29, 2019
No matter what's happening around us, @JussieSmollett is ALWAYS quick w/ a massive smile & hug. Thats the kind of man he is. The homophobic, racist hate crime against him & hate crimes against countless others cannot stand. Rebuke hatred any & every time it rears its ugly head.
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) January 29, 2019
— Michael B. Jordan (@michaelb4jordan) January 29, 2019
god bless jussie may he have all the support he needs healing from this.
hella speechless. no words.
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) January 29, 2019
I'm just now hearing the news about the senseless hate attack on my #EMPiRE Nephew @JussieSmollett IM SO ANGRY AND HURT ABOUT THIS! THIS MUST STOP!! SPREAD LOVE NOT HATE! PRAYERS UP TO U NEPHEW! ♀️♀️ pic.twitter.com/p4GqfNW3An
— Vivica A. Fox (@MsVivicaFox) January 29, 2019
I am questioned all the time about what defines toxic masculinity. Look no further than what just happened to @JussieSmollett . Get well brother
— terry crews (@terrycrews) January 29, 2019
1/3 - I’ve known Jussie since he was 10 years old, and a man of @JussieSmollett’s talent, intellect and kindness should be an undisputed blessing to our community. My heart is hurting knowing that he’s suffering...and for what? Just for being?
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) January 29, 2019
DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 29, 2019