Posted by | Ray Cornelius

“Empire” actor and newly signed recording artist, Jussie Smollett, has come out as gay to talk-show host, Ellen DeGeneres. The 31-year-old star wanted to set the record straight about his sexuality after his “Empire” co-star, Malik Yoba, unintentionally outed him during an interview. Yoba has since denied the claim and says he was misquoted.

Smollet, who plays the gay singer-songwriter “Jamal” on the hugely popular Fox series, told Ellen that he wanted to reveal the news to her because she has been such an inspiration to the LGBT community. His appearance on her show was also his first time performing live and his first television interview.

“It was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet,” he told DeGeneres. “There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet, I got dressed, but I don’t have a closet…I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home.”

Check out the interview below as well as a sneak peek of this week’s Empire episode, “Sins of the Father”

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