Jussie Smollett's lawyers have been sued by two Nigerian-American brothers who carried out the "attack" on the actor, accusing the legal team of defamation in the latest twist to the strange case.
Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, a pair of personal trainers, were briefly taken into custody in January as Chicago police investigated Smollett's claim.
The Empire actor, who is black and gay, said two men attacked him in the city, hurling homophobic insults and pro-Trump slogans at him and beating him up, leaving him with a noose around his neck.
Chicago police quickly surmised that the attack had been staged.
Smollett reportedly was angry at the producers of Empire over his reported $125,000-per-episode salary, and wanted a pay rise.
On Tuesday the two Nigerian-American brothers, who were never charged, and who police said were paid $5,000 by Smollett to "attack" him, sued Smollett's lawyers.
They sought damages for defamation, after the lawyers insisted they had "criminally attacked" the 36-year-old actor, even after police concluded otherwise.
In the lawsuit, filed in Chicago federal court, the Osundairo brothers said that Smollett's lawyers Mark Geragos and Tina Glandian falsely accused them of attacking Smollett, even after the investigation was over.
"He wanted his employer and the public to notice and appreciate him as a successful black, openly gay actor," it said.
"Smollett directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose."
Smollett's lawyers have not responded to a request for comment.
Smollett has said he had always been truthful about the incident, which sparked extensive outrage on social media, drawing the attention of both President Donald Trump and some of the Democrats who hope to challenge him in 2020.
Gloria Schmidt, one of the brothers' lawyers, said on Tuesday: "They've realised that it was wrong. They've apologised for it.
"But make no mistake: they had no role in calling the police and they had no role in defrauding the police department."
The lawsuit seeks unspecified financial damages.
The city of Chicago earlier this month sued Smollett, seeking three times the damages it said it incurred in the investigation of the incident. Smollett had previously refused a demand by the city for $130,000 to cover police overtime costs to investigate his claims.