Several Chicago Police Department sources have told Fox 32 that the two brothers arrested and questioned in the Jussie Smollett case told detectives they were paid by the "Empire" actor to orchestrate an attack.
The sources say the brothers claimed they were paid by Smollett. The brothers' attorney said both knew Smollett.
Fox 32 News has also learned that police found a receipt for the rope found on Smollett's neck in the brothers' possession showing they had purchased it from an Ace Hardware in Chicago.
The two brothers were released by the police once they agreed to cooperate with police, after detectives said they would charge them with battery. Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Gugliemi confirmed detectives have reached out to Smollett's attorneys and expressed that they need to talk with Smollett.
Police are now investigating whether Smollett made up the story but police are still calling him a victim at this point.
The attorneys for Smollett responded to the report with the following statement:
"As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.
"One of these purported suspects was Jussie's personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video. It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie's complicity.
"Jussie and his attorneys anticipate being further updated by the Chicago Police Department on the status of the investigation and will continue to cooperate. At the present time, Jussie and his attorneys have no inclination to respond to "unnamed" sources inside of the investigation, but will continue discussions through official channels."