'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Comes Out: "There’s Never Been a Closet"

Jussie Smollett - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

Jussie Smollett - H 2015

The 'Empire' star explained to Ellen that he's never hidden who he really is.

Empire actor Jussie Smollett has announced to Ellen DeGeneres that he is gay — without actually saying it.

"It was very, very important to me that my first performance and talk show was with you," Smollett told the talk show host Monday. "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. And he was just Michael, and you’re just Ellen, so it was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet. There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet. I got a dresser, but I don’t have a closet. I have a home, and it is my responsibility to protect that home."

Smollett added, "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."