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Empire Star Jussie Smollett Hospitalized as Police Investigate Apparent Hate Crime

Empire star Jussie Smollett was transported to the hospital after he was the victim of an apparent hate crime Tuesday around 2 a.m. in Chicago.

TMZ first reported the news. The Chicago Police Department confirmed in a statement that a member of the hit Fox show was involved in a “racially-charged assault and battery,” though they did not name Smollett.

The statement continues: “A 36 year old man was walking … when two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him. The offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim. At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck. The offenders fled the scene.”

The statement adds that the victim was transported to Northwestern Hospital and is in “good condition.”

Smollett’s reps did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

TMZ reports that his attackers allegedly yelled, “This is MAGA country.” PEOPLE has not been able to independently confirm this.

The Blast obtained a recording of the 911 call concerning the incident, in which the dispatcher says friends reported that Smollett “was assaulted when he walked out of his apartment.”

Smollett, 35, first spoke publicly about being gay on The Ellen DeGenres Show in 2015, though he said he never considered himself to be in the closet.

“There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in,” he said, adding that deciding not to talk about his personal life is not an attempt to “hide or deny who God made me. There is, without a doubt, no closet that I’ve ever been in,” he reiterated, “and I just wanted to make that clear.”

In a statement about the attack to The Hollywood Reporter, GLAAD said it reached out to Fox and Smollett’s team to offer assistance.

“Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world,” the statement read.

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