(CBS News) The two Nigerian brothers arrested in connection with the assault on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett are no longer suspects in the attack. They’re now cooperating with police.

A source close to the investigation confirms to CBS News the brothers told detectives Smollett paid them to participate in the alleged attack on January 29 and that they purchased the rope — which was found around Smollett’s neck — at a nearby hardware store. The source said detectives have evidence to corroborate the sale, something the men’s attorney alluded to Friday night.

“New evidence that was brought to their attention, obviously I had it, my clients had it,” said Gloria Schmidt, the brothers’ attorney.

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