Jussie Smollett Addresses His Attackers And Doubters In Emotional First Interview: 'I Am Forever Changed’

GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Robin Roberts interview with actor Jussie Smollett airs Thursday, February 14, 2019 on ABC's "Good Morning America." (Photo by Stephen Green/ABC via Getty Images) JUSSIE SMOLLETT, ROBIN ROBERTS

Jussie Smollett Addresses His Attackers And Doubters In Emotional First Interview: 'I Am Forever Changed’

The "Empire" star opens up about his hate crime on "Good Morning America."

Published February 14, 2019

Jussie Smollett's January attack, which saw two men target him for both his Blackness and queerness, remains a hot topic online that, unfortunately, is somehow still met with doubt by many.

The Empire star spoke with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts on Thursday morning where he addressed his doubters and shared what was most troubling about being the victim of the double hate crime.

In the first interview since his brutal Chicago attack, Smollett touched on being angry that so many people are doubting the validity of his story.

"What is it that has you so angry?" Roberts asked the actor. "Is it the... attackers?"

After stressing that while both the attackers and the attack, itself, infuriate him, it is the doubt cast upon him by the public that bothers him most.

"It's like, you know, at first, it was a thing of like, 'Listen, if I tell the truth, then that's it, 'cause it's the truth," he said. "Then, it became a thing of like, 'Oh, how can you doubt that? Like, how do you — how do you not believe that? It's the truth.' And then it became a thing of like, 'Oh, it's not necessarily that you don't believe that this is the truth. You don't even want to see the truth.'"

Elsewhere in the interview, the actor spoke on refusing to turn his phone over to the police, giving reasons why simply following their request would have been a risky move.

"I'm sorry, but I'm not going to do that," he said on the morning show. "I have private pictures and videos and numbers. My partner's number, my family's numbers, my cast mates' numbers, my friends' numbers, my private emails, my songs."

All in all, why was the actor targeted, exactly? He has one solid reason: Trump.

"I come really, really hard against 45," he said in reference to the president. "I come really, really hard against his administration, and I don't hold my tongue."

In speaking on the lasting effects of his attack, Smollett emotionally shared that he is now scarred from the experience and will never be the same.

"I will never be the man that this did not happen to," he said with tears in his eyes. "I am forever changed. And I don't subscribe to the idea that everything happens for a reason, but I do subscribe to the idea that we have the right and the responsibility to make something meaningful out of the things that happen to us, good and bad."

Catch a glimpse of the heartbreaking interview, below:

Written by Moriba Cummings

(Photo by Stephen Green/ABC via Getty Images)

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