"Empire" star Jussie Smollett was attacked early Tuesday morning in what Chicago police are calling a possible hate crime.
TMZ reports that the 36-year-old actor visited a Subway restaurant at 2 a.m. after arriving in Chicago from New York. As he was leaving, a man allegedly yelled racist and homophobic slurs: “Aren’t you that f***ot Empire n*****?”
Then, two white men in ski masks allegedly attacked Smollett, put a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him before yelling, "This is MAGA country.”
Smollett was hospitalized for his injuries, including a broken rib, and released.
"Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime," police said in a statement.
On "Empire," Smollet plays musician Jamal Lyon, who is gay. Off screen, Smollett has said he identifies as gay, but chooses to keep his personal life out of the public eye.