Jussie Smollett has given his first interview since being attacked in Chicago on Jan. 29—and he says he's "pissed off" about suggestions he might have invented the attack. "At first, it was a thing of, like, 'Listen, if I tell the truth then that's it, 'cause it's the truth,'" the 36-year-old Empire star says in a Good Morning America interview scheduled to air at 7am Thursday. "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.'" Smollett says he was attacked after leaving a Subway restaurant around 2am by two men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs, poured a substance on him, and put a rope around his neck, but right-wing commentators including Donald Trump Jr. have suggested it was a hoax, the Mercury News reports.
In the interview, Smollett says he is sure two men spotted in surveillance footage from the area were his attackers. "When that was released, I was like, 'Okay. We're getting somewhere,' you know what I'm saying?" he says. "I don't have any doubt in my mind that that's them. Never did." The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said earlier this month that they "have no reason to think he’s not being genuine" with them. "The allegations that are described to us are horrendous, horrible, and quite frankly cowardly," Johnson said. "He is a victim, and we treat him like a victim." (Earlier this week, Smollett's reps explained why his phone records were redacted.)