Empire star and singer Jussie Smollet has shared details of the harrowing attack he was subjected to last week in Chicago in an impassioned on-stage speech.
Smollet's first public appearance since the incident was at the Troubadour in LA, where he performed songs from his debut album.
"I'm so proud of myself, I promised myself I was not gonna cry tonight," he told the crowd at his gig, according to E!
The black and openly gay actor was approached by two offenders in the early hours of last Tuesday, who according to police yelled "racial and homophobic slurs" before pouring an unknown chemical substance on him. Smollet also reportedly had a rope placed around his neck.
"I am not fully healed yet, but I'm going to, and I'm gonna stand strong with ya'll," the 35-year-old said during his emotional address.
"I had to be here tonight, y'all. I couldn't let those motherf**kers win.
"So I will always stand for love. I will never stand for anything other than that.
"Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love and I hope that you all stand with me."
Smollet also took the opportunity to clarify some details of the attack, including the fact that his ribs were bruised rather than broken, and that he took himself to the doctor.
"I fought the f**k back," he concluded. "I'm the gay Tupac."
that Smollet told fans: "Be as black, be as brown, be as gay as the f**k you want to be!"
Chicago police are investigating the attack as a hate crime.