The Chicago Police Department said Saturday its investigators want to talk with actor Jussie Smollett again after receiving new information that "shifted the trajectory of the investigation" into the attack the Empire actor said he suffered.
Late Friday night, police released without charges two Nigerian brothers arrested on suspicion of assaulting Smollett and said they have new evidence to investigate as a result of questioning them.
According to reports by CNN and NBC Chicago, sources said investigators are looking into whether Smollett paid the two men to stage the attack. The two men have reportedly agreed to fully cooperate with the police investigation.
"We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We've reached out to the Empire cast member's attorney to request a follow-up interview," said Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Smollet's attorneys released a statement Saturday night saying the actor has 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," the statement read.
The statement from Smollett's attorneys also said that one of the alleged suspect was a personal trainer hired to get him ready for a music video.
Smollett, who is black and gay, has said two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and "This is MAGA country!" beat him and looped a rope around his neck early on Jan. 29 before running away. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him.
Police have said they found no surveillance video of an attack but continue to look.
Saturday's development comes just a few days after police said there was "no evidence to say that this is a hoax" and that Smollett "continues to be treated by police as a victim, not a suspect."
In an interview with ABC News, the singer and actor said he didn't remove the rope from around his neck before police arrived "because I wanted them to see."
Smollett also said he initially refused to give police his cellphone because the device contained private content and phone numbers. He later gave detectives heavily redacted phone records that police have said are insufficient for an investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.