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CNN: Jussie Smollett Staged Attack, Police Sources Say

Two law enforcement sources close to the investigation of actor Jussie Smollet's attack told CNN that Chicago Police believe Smollett paid two men to orchestrate the assault. Chicago Police have not confirmed the claim, and have previously stated that reports alleging the attack was staged were “unconfirmed.” Two brothers were arrested Wednesday and were released without charges Friday after the police questioned them. The police cited the discovery of “new evidence” as a factor, but did not specify what evidence led to their release. The law enforcement sources reportedly told CNN that the two men are now cooperating fully with police, and that there are records showing the brothers bought rope at an Ace Hardware store in Chicago prior to the attack.

Smollett alleges that he was attacked by two men yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him on January 29. The Empire star also says one of the attackers put a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him.