FBI investigating connections between hate mail and Jussie Smollett attack

New reports suggest a possible development in the ongoing investigation of the attack on actor Jussie Smollett.

Investigators are now considering a possible link between threatening mail sent to the actor, and his violent assault on the night of January 29. At least one letter sent to Smollett referred to him as a “black f*g” just days before the attack.

The Empire star and out-gay actor landed in the hospital following an attack on the streets of Chicago. Unknown assailants assaulted Smollett, shouting racist and homophobic slurs, dousing the actor in corrosive chemicals, beating him and tying a noose around his neck. Smollett spent time in the hospital before returning to work on the Empire set.

Related: 6 powerful takes on the attack on Jussie Smollett

According to reports, the FBI has coordinated with a private security firm hired to screen mail sent to the cast of the show, which has a history of receiving threatening letters. Police also are currently analyzing camera footage taken in the area of the attack in hopes of identifying a suspect.

Law enforcement is also investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.

h/t: Queerty