Jussie Smollett was brutally assaulted by two ski-mask-wearing men in Chicago

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Here it is… white terrorists committing an intersectional hate crime against an African-American gay man, while shouting something about “making America great again.” This is the whole point of the Trump administration – to sow hatred, discord, ignorance and violence against those people the regime has marginalized and maligned. Hispanics, African-Americans, LGBTQ+ people, women. Very early Tuesday morning, Empire actor Jussie Smollett was attacked by two men in Chicago. Empire films in Chicago, and it is currently in production. This is what happened according to TMZ (they broke the story):

“Empire” star Jussie Smollett was brutally attacked by 2 men who beat him up, put his head in a noose and screamed, “This is MAGA country.” Sources directly connected to Jussie tell TMZ, the actor arrived in Chicago from New York late Monday, and at around 2 AM he was hungry and went to a Subway. We’re told when shortly after he walked out on his way home, someone yelled, “Aren’t you that f***ot ‘Empire’ n*****?”

The 2 men — both white and wearing ski masks — viciously attacked Jussie as he fought back, but they beat him badly and fractured a rib. They put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they yelled, “This is MAGA country.”

Jussie took himself to Northwestern Memorial where he was treated. He was discharged later Tuesday morning.

[From TMZ]

First of all, it’s crazy to me that after being brutalized and having a fractured rib and having bleach poured on him, he was A) still able to get himself to the hospital and B) discharged less than 12 hours later. But yes, this is a hate crime. It’s an intersectional hate crime because he’s black AND out-and-proud gay. It was a hate crime when they said the f-word and the n-word. It was a hate crime as soon as these white guys pulled out the f–king noose. Here’s the statement from the Chicago PD:

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.”

A Chicago P.D. spokesperson tells PEOPLE that no arrests have been made and there are no solid suspects at this time. The officer says the attackers were wearing masks but will not confirm what they said, only that it was racially charged and homophobic. The victim thinks the liquid thrown on him was bleach, but detectives have yet to confirm that. He was by himself at the time of the attack.

[From People]

So far, only TMZ is reporting that for-sure the guys in ski masks said anything about “MAGA country.” Everyone agrees that they were saying racist and homophobic sh-t though. Everyone agrees that the ski-mask a–holes had a f–king rope with them. The Chicago police are being pretty slow on the draw by not designating this a hate crime immediately, and I’m not completely sure why. I get that they need to investigate and the “hate crime” designation is more of a legal term for the prosecution rather than an investigative lead. But it doesn’t help matters when it feels like the police are like “I’m not so sure what to call this” when a black gay man had bleach poured on him and a f–king noose put around his neck.

I’m glad Jussie’s injuries weren’t so serious that he had to be hospitalized extensively though. Truly, I hope he rests and takes it easy and I hope the police find these f–kers really soon.

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75 Responses to “Jussie Smollett was brutally assaulted by two ski-mask-wearing men in Chicago”

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  1. xdanix says:

    Dear god. Truly no words for how horrifying every detail of this awful story is. That poor, poor man. I am so, so glad he’s ok, and I hope those awful excuses for human beings rot for this.

    • Otaku fairy... says:

      I really hope they get caught soon. This poor man has no way of knowing whether or not he’d come away from this attack alive. This kind of thing is one of the worst nightmares to come out of this kind of situation- an increase in hate crimes because entitled racists and homophobes feel more emboldened- in their stanning for powerful likeminded bigots and in years of their own bigotry- to carry their hate to some of its natural conclusions.

      • Some chick says:

        Yep. And all we can do is speak up. Which is SO NOT ENOUGH.

        Healing juju to Jussie. That’s all I’ve got.

      • Some chick says:

        Yep. Exactly. Thanks for pointing it out. That’s just about all we armchair quarterbacks can do.

    • BchyYogi says:

      I made myself read the details because HE had to LIVE it and we should all feel collective pain, teach our children the importance of tolerance, speak out RIGHT AWAY at any glimmer of hate. I remain so sickened, saddened and soul sick. When will this era END

  2. Teaspilled says:

    What scum. I hope they are caught and rot in jail while Jussie heals and thrives. I can only imagine what fear he will live with and I hope he feels nothing but support the rest of his life.
    On a side note what men know actors much less their sexual orientations? I was playing guess that actor with my bf and I said he was in Jurassic Park and wrote the clue J— Goldblum and he guessed John like six times. To know this much about Jussie seems premeditated which carries hopefully a harsher sentence.

  3. Tiffany says:

    He got himself to the hospital because I got a feeling that he knew no one would have looked out for him or even ask if he was hurt. We as black know. We just know.

    Empathy and looking for your fellow man died decades ago.

    • Anna says:

      Exactly. And it’s telling how barely any (none?) of the white progressives I follow on twitter or other platforms have shared a word about this. If I hear one more white kid (or adult) using Black gay slang, calling me “girl” in some sort of misguided attempt to “connect” and then getting offended when I inform them that I do not answer to that term, jacking Black queer style, etc etc etc. I will fucking scream. And it won’t be a “nice” scream either. Black people are always here for white consumption, aren’t we? That yawning void of never-ending need to appropriate our traditions, our style, our hair, lips, butt, skin, language, everything but our *Blackness* which certainly no white person wants to actually live in this f***ing country. I’m just sick. I’m sick and tired. And scared. Because I live and work near to where this happened and for some reason, I thought I was a little bit safer calling Chicago home but the reality is nowhere is safe. The only place I feel at home is Chicago south side and I don’t go out anymore. Any situation–a supposedly nice club for drinks or walking down the street or biking to work–any place is a potential danger zone. And to end my well-justified rant, I will say also: fuck Kanye and his apologists. I said years ago that he was up to no good, and “friends” insinuated I was anti-hip hop. Well, Ye, thanks for nothing, b****. This is what your MAGA-adoring ass has gotten us. It’s a shame. A complete a total shame. There is nowhere safe for Black queer and trans people but especially not in this godforsaken country.

      • Christina says:

        Oh, Anna. I just want to sit next to you and hold your hand and hug you if you let me. I agree with every word you said. Every single word. I wish it wasn’t dangerous for you and the people in my family. I pass, so I don’t get it. I get the sexism, but you all get the sexism and the rascism.

        So tired… 😞

      • BCity says:

        I’m so sorry you’re going through this. There’s a lot of white people who are play-acting progressive on social media for attention and it’s SO disrespectful. Do these all-talk-no-action types reach out to people they actually know who are hurting right now? No. The Tragedy Tourists, as I like to call them, can’t be bothered unless there’s something in it for them. For what it’s worth, I went through that after Pittsburgh, and I hear you 1000%. I don’t have any answers, but I’m thinking of you ❤️

      • Some chick says:

        Yep, Anna and Tiff.

        As a former Chicagoan, I feel yas.

      • Canber says:

        That attack was essentially an act of terrorism. It was the hateful outburst of a minority intended to instill fear and mark the superiority claim of the terrorist.

    • Veronica S. says:

      He was probably thinking that if he called the police, he’d be the one that wound up arrested or worse, if we’re being brutally honest.

      • Snazzy says:

        Absolutely. He knows what he can and cannot do, sadly. Smartest move he could make was go get himself to the hospital. This whole thing is just so much WTF

  4. TheOriginalTania says:

    The poor thing, he probably thought he was going to be murdered or maimed with acid. The emotional damage will be way worse than the physical. How awful. My thoughts go out to him.

    • Aoife says:

      What a truly evil crime. I feel like puking just reading about it, cannot even imagine the trauma he’s been through.

    • Sparkly says:

      This was my thought as well. I hope he has a good support system to help him through this. I can only imagine how a black man felt having a noose wrapped around his neck while being taunted by white guys. There is no excuse for that, and I hope they catch the bastards and prosecute them to the fullest possible extent.

  5. JoJo says:

    I saw a pic of him in the hospital from when Lee Daniel FaceTimed with him.He had a cut on his forehead I could see some swelling around his eyes it appears that he may have been crying.I know he despises Trump, he has tweeted about it him many times so it’s very possible they are Trump supporters.TMZ mentioned the FBI is investigating a death threat(letter) he received which also used a racist and homophobic slur.

    • K.T says:

      Horrifying. You’d, for sure, think you were going to be murdered. This just speaks to what the GOP is feeding to their clansfolk – so frightening.

  6. Becks1 says:

    Oh my god. That is horrific. I’m glad it seems he will be okay physically.

  7. Feedmechips says:

    …these guys were just walking the streets carrying around bleach???? Sounds like they were out looking to cause trouble.

    • Anna says:

      Of course it was premeditated. Who walks around with a NOOSE?

    • Kebbie says:

      I think they targeted him specifically. There’s no way they just happened upon him, knew he was gay, knew he was on the show Empire, had bleach, had a noose, and were wearing ski masks. It was 100% planned, and I think he was the intended target.

      If they were just out looking for a random victim, they wouldn’t have known who he was or anything about him.

      • BCity says:

        Agreed and I’ve thought for some time that it has to burn the MAGA loons’ colllective asses that Empire airs on their propaganda channel, so maybe that’s why they chose him. He seems like such a sweet, gentle person and this is horrifying.

    • tai says:

      I was thinking the same thing, who walks around with a rope and bleach? Sounds like they either targeted him or were just looking for anyone to attack. Absolutely hideous. Jussie is going to have PTSD now when going out after dark.

      • cannibell says:

        The “Empire” team has hired bodyguards for the duration of their filming there for all cast members. I hope they catch the pieces of shit who did this and throw all the books at them.

        And @Anna – I hate that you have to live in a world that is so dangerous. I live up the road in Milwaukee, and hope you can get here for Pridefest in June. It’s not much, but at least it’s taste of the world you ought to live in always.

  8. Loretta says:

    OMG Poor Jussie. This is scary and disgusting. We’re living in dark times, I’m really afraid

    • Tiffany says:

      Loretta, I do not know your race but I am noticing the pattern of white people talking about dark times.

      If you are white, you are finally seeing the unpolite side of racism and white supremacy and it is not dark times, it has and always has been America.

      • Loretta says:

        Yes, I’m white and I’m Italian. I spoke of dark times because even in my country I see an increasing racism. I hope I haven’t offended anyone with my comment.

      • Christina says:

        Nothing has changed, and colorism is all over the world, too. In Mexico, Jalisco people look down on the darker people from Leon. A Philipino friend told me just last night that her people look down on her because her brown skin is “too dark”. Black people are dumped on and fetishized everywhere.

      • CairinaCat says:

        What’s changed is these “maga people” are just being obvious and proud about it now.
        I always knew my family was low key racist, but omg I never realized to what extent because they hid it.
        I no longer have anything to do with about 70% of my immediate family
        I had naively thought the country was getting a little better before 2016, now I know thats not true and it was always horrible.

  9. BaeBae says:

    My heart is broken 💔

    • Olenna says:

      Mine, too. Sending him heartfelt thoughts of healing and strength. Those men are the vilest of cowards, but will probably brag about what they’ve done as if they contributed to the ’cause’. I think this attack was planned, so there may be other(s) not involved that knew what was about to go down. I hope someone with a conscience turns them in.

    • pinetree13 says:

      I cried listening to this on CNN. Racism, homophobia and misogyny really get to me. But homophobia really gets to me because of how it’s still illegal to be gay in so many countries and legal to kill gays in many countries. Like WTF.

  10. Bettyrose says:

    Chicago has aways been a racialy polarized city, but I really don’t think of it as maga territory. Chicago residents…am I wrong to be shocked this happen there?

    • minx says:

      I’m from Chicago and it is most definitely not MAGA country. There are suburban pockets Republicans, and downstate is more red. But the entire state is pretty blue.

    • gw says:

      Read about Chicago neighborhoods like Mount Greenwood and Jefferson Park and you will find out there are plenty of MAGA people in the city. During the 2016 election I saw countless Trump signs driving through Edison Park.

      • Meredith says:

        I was going to mention Mt Greenwood too (I’m from Beverly, so I’m much more familiar with Mt Greenwood than Jefferson Park). Multiple precincts in Mt Greenwood went to Trump in 2016. That neighborhood is garbage and has been for a long time now.

        Pete Davidson had a funny joke on SNL that was about Staten Island but reminded me of Mt Greenwood: “I know Staten Island isn’t just racist cops and meth. It’s also racist fire fighters and heroin.”

    • Esmom says:

      Chicagoan here, too, and I’ve been reeling about this all day. The MAGA angle is a little weird but as gw said, there is a fair number of Trumpsters around…more than I realized. I’m near Edison Park and some of the rhetoric I heard leading up to the Nov election was really disturbing.

      A big chunk of people at my gym are low key MAGAts, I’m pretty sure. Lots of cops and first responders in the neighborhood and the prevailing narrative seems to be that if you sympathize with black victims of police shootings, you hate cops. It makes my skin crawl.

    • Anna says:

      Yes to what folks here have said. Chicago is historically and presently one of the most segregated cities in the U.S. but the racism is more low-key the closer you get to downtown. Meaning that white folks are hella racist but they just couch it and are not violent. It’s institutionalized in a different way or for instance, Blackness is fetishized so that the way to gain entry into white space is the capitalize on one’s Blackness in an “acceptable” manner. Some folks will know what I’m talking about. But there are parts of the city and vicinity (and definitely the rest of Illinois) that are deeply and violently racist. In Bridgeport near where I live, Black folks would never go…folks who are now in their 50s and 60s talk about how that was completely off-limits. It’s changing now but I have to say I still feel nervous going up north and I lived there for 11 years. It’s gentrifying (unfortunately mostly affluent gay white men in areas that used to be some of the most international per capita in the whole country and also lesbian) and it has become scary to the point where I don’t venture up there often. There is a boldness with white people now that is infiltrating everywhere, even formerly somewhat “safe” areas though that never has really been true. While you do see clearly “fish out of water” white tourists in downtown area who you know are unaccustomed to visible and free-living Black folk–the stares I get sometimes but just let them try, I have 46 years of rage I’d be happy to share–it’s not that common to see a MAGA hat. In fact, I’ve personally never seen anyone wearing one in here. I have, however, witnessed white boys in big trucks racing along downtown streets, I did see them almost mow down a Brother and scream the n* word at him as they did, these things do happen. They desperately want to take over the city in a visible way but there are too many liberals–at least in talk–for them to do so. They don’t belong. That said, attacks are not uncommon and I’m sure much more than every reported. I have been jumped on the north side. It’s a reality, and they are becoming more emboldened by the day.

      • Sarah says:

        Didn’t Trevor Noah mention that a white guy in a big truck called him the n word and tried to run him over in Chicago? I didn’t realize it was so common. Sounds horrible.

    • Trashaddict says:

      There are overt MAGAs and there are MAGAs hiding in the woodwork. Some from quarters I never would have expected who sided with Trump from the pro-business/economic angle. One is from a successful immigrant family, some can be pretty conservative. I think they may be regretting that decision now but I haven’t asked them because I don’t want to know the answer.

    • amg says:

      There’s a reason all of us in Chicago are reeling, because it’s NOT a common occurrence. This type of hate crime is not something you just “expect on a Tuesday”. We aren’t talking a police brutality issue here (this time).

      You bet there are racist pockets in the city, especially in the neighborhoods where a lot of cops live, but they are, how do i say, lazy racists? They will puff out their fat guts and say dumb crap, but you don’t hear of this kind of violence very often.

      And for whoever said it wouldn’t be in the news even if these crimes did happen, bull. Especially this new age of awareness and social media, bull.

      You really have to be from here to understand how segregated this city is. It’s ingrained, almost institutionalized.. It’s not even a hate, it’s almost just a weird acceptance that everyone is supposed to be separate. It’s sad. Everybody is afraid of each other, distrust on both sides, warranted or not.

      All that said, watching the news and seeing all the people out helping each other in this horrible cold weather is nice to see.

  11. tw says:

    I’m wiling to bet my life savings that at least one of the two assailants is in the closet.

    • Alarmjaguar says:

      I had exactly the same thought — complete disgust for these two horrible people.

      ETA disgust for their actions, obviously, not their closeted-ness. But that would completely track with so much homophobia and toxic masculinity

  12. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    The hurt he’ll carry around the rest of his life is heartbreaking. What scum those attackers are and their beliefs are deplorable. I hate the worry I have for my son every minute of every day.

  13. AJ says:

    …the MAGA hat is the daytime allowed KKK white hat.

    • Lokigal says:

      was about to say this exact thing. especially now they have the white MAGA hat standing in for the KKK hood

    • pinetree13 says:

      Yeah I really don’t get how anyone can make the case that the red MAGA hats aren’t racist at this point. Just like the Nazi symbol started out as a symbol meaning peace or something and then obviously it’s meaning is totally different now (though one could argue the MAGA hats were racist from the start). I just don’t see how anyone can defend those red hats anymore. They ARE the white hood.

  14. Trashaddict says:

    I would hope better of Chicago because overall we did vote blue, but unfortunately I’m not surprised. These guys do seem like the kind of A$$hats who would brag on their social media about it, so the cops should start looking because they seem like the kind of idiots who won’t be able to shut up about it.
    I hope they get nailed and prosecuted for hate crimes. The use of a noose absolutely clinches that.
    Here’s something to let people know that resistance to these Make America Greedy Again jerks does exist in Chicago:

  15. Algernon says:

    Law enforcement is often careful about applying labels to any crime before the prosecuting attorneys weigh in because defense lawyers can attack it as prejudicial in court. The hate crime designation is a prosecutor’s weapon (it allows them to go for tougher sentencing and graduate misdemeanors to felonies), and based on the careful way the cops are talking, I assume the DA is already weighing in. Chicago PD has a lot of problems and their track record is terrible with communities of color, but I’m not sure their reticence to name this a hate crime is just because of bias. Hate crime charges can be really hard to make stick because you have to, essentially, prove hate in court, which is hard to do because “what is hate”? I have heard actual lawyers use that statement as part of their defense, and it actually worked and almost derailed an entire case, and in the end, the hate crime portion of the charge was dropped, because the prosecutors started to really fear they were going to lose the whole thing (the defense was lawyer was good, by which I mean he had no soul). In the end, what was a felony with mandatory jail time became a misdemeanor with probation and community service. I’m sure there are Chicago cops who doubt Jussie Smollett’s story just because of who he is and what he looks like, but there are probably just as many who have watched cases disintegrate because someone got too enthusiastic with the verbiage.

  16. CairinaCat says:

    This sounds specifically targeted
    Two guys in ski masks, out at 2am, in his neighborhood, carrying bleach and rope and just so happened to know who he was, that he was gay, what show he was on.
    How would anyone know he was back in town, he had only just flown in.
    I’m wondering if it was a neighbor, a co worker like someone in the film crew, because so so not random

    • enya says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Who walks around the city with bleach and a freaking rope? People looking for someone to attack. These guys planned to hurt someone. This was a premeditated crime. F^&%ing bastards.

  17. PhillyGal says:

    Wow. There are some truly disgusting pigs who are Trump supporters. And he has given them permission to do this kind of sh*t.

  18. launicaangelina says:

    This shatters my heart. While many thoughts are swirling in my head, I have no words.

  19. atlantic says:

    This makes me so angry and breaks my heart for Jussie at the same time.

  20. DiegoInSF says:

    I read this a few hours ago during my commute back home and it just stayed with me. The viciousness is brutal and as a gay POC I’m just afraid. I hope they catch the scumbags that did this and are put away for a long time.

  21. Missy says:

    For what it’s worth, this also happened in a very wealthy, bougie, VERY white part of the city that white people consider safe. I guess it’s only safe for white bodies. This is disgusting. Also, while I agree that it’s awful that Jussie took himself to the hospital, the attack took place around the corner from NW Memorial so it wouldn’t be unusual for someone to walk there. However, he should not have had to go through getting himself there alone. I find it surprising that no one has stepped forward as a witness. Yes it was a Tuesday night, but Chicago is a big city. Someone else must have seen something was up.

  22. Nicegirl says:

    I’m very sad about this attack of Jussie. I hate MAGA TRUMP Motherf-ckers. This is horrid bullshit, a premeditated hate crime! No words yet condemning criminals from 45 ?? and expressing well wishes either feels so like Masta MAGA T condones this shit.

    💕Jussie ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

  23. Dre says:

    What makes me angrier are people that think he’s lying I’ve seen it several places today.

    • RBC says:

      Yes, I have noticed that already

    • pinetree13 says:

      Oh that doesn’t even phase me. I mean if they’ll attack the PARENTS OF CHILDREN SHOT TO DEATH at sandy hook obviously they’re not above calling anyone a liar. I mean if you’re willing to attack grieving parents there’s no low you won’t stoop to. As soon as i heard about that MAGA association I was like “yep the magats are going to call him a liar in 3..2..1..”

      I also didn’t like how CNN this morning said “There were so many cameras in the area but strangely none of them saw anything” and i was like “Geez CNN why on earth would you word it like that when you know the MAGATS are just gonna jump all over that with their conspriacy BS”

  24. Dttimes2 says:

    Well after the sneering kid and the veteran happened, i commented to someone that i was waiting for a lynching to happen
    And then this happened. I have lost all faith in humanity to the point where i do hear/read of someone doing something for another person i get SO EMOTIONAL.

    Ugh this feels like Jan 974th and i have SAD and every winter gets worse. Yo the Alien overlords need to reset this science experiment AGAIN cause we keep failing and doing the same shit to each other.

  25. OriginalLala says:

    So at what point does Trump get charged with hate speech and inciting hate crimes?? after how many attacks on LGBTQ folks, POC, immigrants?????? when will he face any consequences for his part in the uptick in hate crimes???

  26. Liz version 700 says:

    This story makes me want to vomit. He will never be the same after experiencing this hate and bigotry and the casual dismissal of his life

  27. HeyThere! says:

    I am heartbroken over this hate crime. I can’t evtn imagine how he must feel. He is an outstanding human being and I am sending him all the internet hugs today!

    I’m not to far, a few hours, from where this happened. This is not the Chicago I grew up to love. They have a great LGBTQ community and my heart breaks for all of Chicago.

    This MEGA climate that promotes sexism, racism, hate crimes, misogyny, toxic masculinity, just to name a few, has to stop. I’m so heartbroken.

  28. Canber says:

    Throwing in a highjacking can of worms here, but stories like these are the reason of why I’m so mad with Green party/Jill Stein voters. Oh, the privilege of voting for your conscience when you know you won’t get beat up in the streets.

  29. osito says:

    My heart is breaking for Jussie and his loved ones, for my loved ones who have been targets of hate, for our community, and our entire society. This is where we are — policing policy that doesn’t know ho to classify crimes against people of color and LGBTQ people; a president who has handed the white supremacists and white nationalists a script that they will use to justify and entrench their hatred for the next 50 years; the actual violence of white domestic terrorists; and there’s so much more in terms of inequality, misogyny, poverty, and the hinderances to people attempting to meet basic needs. The Dystopia is now.

  30. BC says:

    I love Jussie. Ive always thought hes cute, with the most amazing voice and goodness, the kindest of eyes – and that sweet baby face, honestly, hes impossible to hate. Hes just so sweet! When i first read this yesterday, i cried. Granted, i was already battling the flu and was frustrated by it, but this news pushed my limits. As a woman, i dont stay out late as i fear for my safety. And sometimes when its late and im out , ill suddenly start to panic, praying for safety til im home. The thought of violence and being violated freaks me out! I cant imagine the fear he felt, knowing he had been targeted for his skin colour, for his sexuality. A noose! A noose! Im abt to lose it just thinking about it. Its like your worst nightmare come alive. Im so angry, and feel so helpless sometimes in this world. All i could do was cry and pray. Pray that justice, seen or unseen, publicly or in private, by God or by man or by karma, be served, and fast. And that Jussie finds it in his heart to get over this. That this doesnt turn him bitter. That they can try break the body but never the soul. But most of all, that he knows he is loved and those scumbags , those cowards, are nothing compared to the millions that love and are rooting for him. Heartbroken but hopeful.

    • osito says:

      ❤️❤️❤️ I’m with you BC. My previous post was my gut reaction, but I, too, am hopeful for Jussie’s recovery and that justice will reign.

  31. Shaleah says:

    This is so terrible. It absolutely makes me sick. Was this premeditated? Who is walking around at 2am with ski masks, rope and bleach? It’s so bizarre. I hope he hires a bodyguard, sad he has to, but I’d be terrified of ever going out alone again if it were me.