Empire star Jussie Smollett spoke publicly for the first time since being targeted in an allegedly homophobic and racist assault and says the attack "should not be looked upon as an isolated incident".

Smollett, who is black and came out as gay in 2015, was attacked by two men in Chicago on Tuesday, police confirmed.

In a statement to US magazine Essence, Smollett said he "needed a moment to process" the "trauma, grief and pain" he suffered as a result of the unprovoked attack.

He warned that his attack should not be seen as isolated and that similar incidents often occurred, and also claimed that "certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations" had been spread since his release from hospital.

The 36-year-old said: "I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level.

"Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served.

Smollett (second-left) on the set of Empire

"As my family stated, these types of cowardly attacks are happening to my sisters, brothers and non-gender-conforming siblings daily. I am not and should not be looked upon as an isolated incident."

The attackers poured an "unknown chemical substance" over Smollett and wrapped a rope around his neck, shouting racial and homophobic slurs throughout the attack, police said. No arrests have so far been made.

Closing his statement, Smollett said: "We will talk soon and I will address all details of this horrific incident, but I need a moment to process.

"Most importantly, during times of trauma, grief and pain, there is still a responsibility to lead with love. It's all I know. And that can't be kicked out of me."