Empire star Jussie Smollett hospitalised after suspected hate crime

Jussie Smollett.
Jussie Smollett. Photo credit: Twitter/Jussie Smollett

Empire star Jussie Smollett is recovering in hospital after a suspected racially charged and homophobic attack in Chicago.

Smollett was approached by two unknown offenders yelling "racial and homophobic slurs" on Tuesday (local time) USA today reports.

The pair then beat Smollett and poured an unknown chemical substance on him. One of them tied a rope around Smollett's neck.

Smollett took himself to Northwestern Hospital and is in good condition. Chicago Police say he is cooperating with an investigation into the attack.

The attack is currently being investigated as a hate crime.

"Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline," police said in a statement sent to USA Today.

Smollett played the role of Jamal Lyon on Empire since 2015. Other actors including John Legend, Shonda Rhimes and Zendaya have shared their upset at the situation on Twitter.

"Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack.  We support you and pray that you find peace and justice," Legend said.

"We ALL have a responsibility to rise up against the ignorance and hate out there. If you know who did this to [Jussie Smollett], REPORT THEM TO THE POLICE," Rhimes wrote.

"This is heartbreaking and terrifying...please pay attention to what's happening here. Sending all my love to [Jussie Smollett]," Zendaya said.