Jussie Smollett

Fox offered ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett extra security days before racist, homophobic attack: Sources

Fox Studios in Chicago allegedly increased security for the “Empire” cast after receiving a threatening, homophobic letter addressed to Jussie Smollett—who, days later, was reportedly beaten in what authorities are currently investigating as a hate crime.

Sources linked to the show’s production team told TMZ that Smollett, 35, declined Fox’s offer for extra security during his downtime as he felt the measure was intrusive. They also claimed that since Tuesday’s incident, armed security is protecting Smollett around-the-clock at least until his attackers are arrested.

Smollett was reportedly exiting a Chicago Subway restaurant at 2 a.m. Tuesday when one of two men in ski masks asked him, “Aren’t you that f**** ‘Empire’ n****r?” before they both attacked the openly gay, black actor. Reports indicated that the men also tied a noose around his neck and dumped a liquid, possibly bleach, on him before fleeing the scene.

The alleged letter in question, obtained by ThatGrapeJuice.net, reads, “You will die black f*g,” in cut-and-paste magazine clippings. The letter apparently also appears to show a red stick figure being shot with a gun. ABC News reported that the envelope contained a powdery substance that was likely Tylenol.

According to recent reports, the FBI is also involved in the ongoing investigation.

“We’re deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night,” Fox said in a statement. “We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice.”

[Featured Image: Jussie Smollett/Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP]