Lawyers for Jussie Smollett suggested in court on Thursday that two brothers at the center of the case attacked the actor to scare him into hiring them as personal security, and later, to avoid prosecution, falsely told police Mr. Smollett had it all planned out. like a hoax.

The brothers, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, each testified that Mr. Smollett gave them detailed instructions on where and how to lightly attack him in January 2019.

“You attacked Jussie because you wanted to scare him into hiring you as security,” said Mr Smollett’s attorney, Shay Allen, “so you could go back to LA and get paid $ 5,000 a week. , is not it ? “

“No, sir,” replied Abimbola Osundairo.

During cross-examination, the brothers, both aspiring actors and fitness enthusiasts, took issue with this and other defense claims regarding the attack. During more than 11 hours of testimony, which touched on minute details like Mr. Smollett’s grocery list and workout regimen, they told the court that Mr. Smollett asked them to shout insults at him racist and homophobic – and to say, “This is MAGA country” – during the attack.

During the testimony of one of the brothers, the defense requested that the trial be set aside, suggesting that the judge had made a mistake during the proceedings and then asked the judge to acquit Mr. Smollett. But Judge James Linn ruled against Mr. Smollett in both cases.

Thursday was a pivotal day in the trial as the prosecution, whose case relies heavily on the credibility of the brothers, rested after each brother told the jury in detail that Mr. Smollett knowingly made a false police report on the attack.

Abimbola Osundairo, 28, said on Wednesday that Mr Smollett, who is gay, devised the ploy because he was disappointed in what he saw as a low-key response from the television studio to a death threat he he had received a few days earlier.

Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo both appear in minor roles on the “Empire” television show, in which Mr. Smollett had starred. Abimbola Osundairo said he agreed to participate in the hoax because he felt “indebted” to Mr Smollett for getting him a replacement role in the series, while Olabinjo Osundairo said as a As an aspiring actor, he had accepted because he wanted to “win the good graces” of Mr. Smollett.

Defense efforts to undermine the brothers’ credibility included questions about the guns and drugs found in Abimbola Osundairo’s home and accusations that Olabinjo Osundairo used to make homophobic comments.

Olabinjo Osundairo is not legally allowed to own a firearm as he was convicted of aggravated battery several years ago. But a detective said earlier in the week that the weapons all belonged to Abimbola Osundairo and legally owned and described the amount of cocaine found as “very low”.

One of Mr Smollett’s attorneys, Tamara Walker, also cited discrepancies between Olabinjo Osundairo’s testimony and what he told the grand jury in the case. He told the grand jury, for example, that he decided to pour bleach, instead of gasoline, on Mr. Smollett because he wanted to avoid being seen filling a gasoline can on a surveillance camera. In court on Thursday, however, he said he chose bleach because he believed it would be safer for Mr Smollett.

The brothers remained calm during their sessions in the witness stand even as they were questioned about several written conversations that Olabinjo Osundairo had in which he made remarks that the defense characterized as homophobic.

Olabinjo Osundairo, 30, denied any bias, explained the comments as mistakes he made because he was upset and said he had “no hatred for anyone”. Earlier today, the prosecution showed the jury a photo of the brothers at the 2015 Chicago Pride Parade in which they were dressed as Trojan warriors for a float centered around the condom brand of the same name.

The motion to quash the trial arose out of this series of questions, as Judge Linn at one point characterized Ms. Walker’s questions about Mr. Osundairo’s past comments as “very collateral issues.” She argued, unsuccessfully, that the judge’s remark discredited part of the defense argument before the jury.

A third lawyer for Mr. Smollett, Heather Widell, accused Judge Linn of making “faces” during the defense questioning. The judge objected to Ms Widell’s characterization and emphasized her own “smiles and frowns”.

“There is no set aside here,” Justice Linn said. “Frankly, I am stunned that you consider a case overturned on the basis of this little colloquy. “

Earlier today, Olabinjo Osundairo said that during the attack on January 29, 2019, when his brother and Mr. Smollett were on the ground, he put a noose around Mr. Smollett’s face and walked away. assured to pour bleach on Mr. Smollett’s clothes, not his skin, to avoid serious injury.

The attack, which was first reported by Mr Smollett’s assistant, led to a massive Chicago Police investigation who located the brothers using surveillance footage from that night. . They arrested the brothers at the airport on their return from a trip to Nigeria.

The brothers were detained by police for about two days and were released after telling investigators that it was Mr Smollett who organized the attack, told them when and where to approach him and even orchestrated a ” running “.

When questioning the brothers, the special prosecutor in the case, Daniel K. Webb, suggested how unlikely it would have been for the brothers to have decided to attempt an attack on Mr Smollett around 2 a.m. on a frosty night. near his apartment without having received any instructions from him.

“If you didn’t have advanced knowledge of Mr. Smollett, there was no way you would know he was going to be there,” Mr. Webb said. Abimbola Osundairo accepted. (He described that night as “colder than the feet of the penguins.”)

The defense argued that the brothers were able to locate Mr. Smollett by checking his Instagram account as he posted updates with his location.

The defense called Brandon Moore, the former music director of Mr. Smollett who was on the phone with him at the time of the attack. Mr Moore said he heard the insults that sparked the attack and then Mr Smollett dropped the phone.

Dr Robert Turelli, the doctor who treated Mr Smollett in hospital the night of the attack, was shown pictures of the bruises on Mr Smollett’s face and claimed they were real injuries. CT scans indicated that Mr. Smollett had suffered “no traumatic injuries and no injuries requiring immediate intervention,” said Dr. Turelli.

Pam Sharp, the former publicist for Mr. Smollett, who said Mr. Smollett “didn’t like the camera on him” outside of his acting job.

Judge Linn said there would be no trial on Friday and would resume on Monday.