'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Confirms He's Gay

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On Empire, Jussie Smollet stars as music mogul Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard)'s talented Gay son Jamal who refuses to stay closeted and struggles with his father's homophobia. In real life, much has also been said about Jussie's sexuality, with the actor staying mum on whether he is gay or straight...until now.

During an interview with Ellen DeGeneres backstage at Ellen recently, Jussie confirmed he is gay and explained why he kept fans in the dark about his sexuality at first.

"It was very, very important to me that my first performance and talk show, that it was with you," he said. "You've been such an inspiration to so many, but also to me. What you've done in the LGBT community is very much, in my opinion, kind of like what Michael Jackson did with the black community - just that you are who you are. He was just Michael, and you're just Ellen."
FOX's "There's never been a closet that I've been in," he continued. "I don't own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don't have a closet, but I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home. So that's why I choose not to talk about my personal life. But, there is without a doubt, no closet that I've ever been in, and I just wanted to make that clear, but it was most important for me to make that clear to you on your show at this time in the world."

"And that's where I'm at," he added. "So, let's not read into it in the wrong way when I say that I don't talk about my personal life, I'm saying that. But it is in no way to hide or deny who God made me. You know? My mama knows. My mama likes me a lot. And, yes, I take her to the Sound of Music sing-along every single year. So, any questions? But honestly, we're human and we love and we do all that good stuff. So I'm honored for this opportunity and I'm honored to be here with you."

Prior to his interview with Ellen, the chatter about Jussie's sexuality went up a notch when his costar Malik Yoba accidentally outed him during an interview. Malik later tried to backtrack on his comments saying he was only referring to Jussie's character on the show as gay.

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