Jonathan Majors convicted of assaulting former girlfriend

18 December 2023, 22:34

Jonathan Majors Assault
Jonathan Majors Assault. Picture: PA

The charges stemmed from a dispute between the Creed III actor and his girlfriend, Grace Jabbari.

Jonathan Majors was convicted on Monday of assaulting his former girlfriend after a two-week trial that the actor hoped would salvage his damaged reputation and restore his status as an emerging Hollywood star, but did just the opposite, with Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Co dropping him immediately.

A New York jury found Majors, 34, guilty of assault and harassment. He was acquitted of a different assault charge and of aggravated harassment.

Majors, who was asked to stand and face the jurors as the verdict was read, showed no reaction, looking slightly downward.

Marvel and Disney immediately dropped Majors from all upcoming projects following the conviction, said a source close to the studio.

His sentencing was set for February 6. He faces up to a year in jail for the assault conviction.

The charges stemmed from a dispute between the Creed III actor and his girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, that began in the back seat of a chauffeured car and spilled into the streets of Manhattan one night last March.

Jonathan Majors Assault
Jonathan Majors leaves court in Manhattan on Monday (Seth Wenig/AP)

Ms Jabbari, a British dancer, 30, accused Majors of an attack inside the vehicle that left her in “excruciating” pain.

She said he hit her in the head with his open hand, twisted her arm behind her back and squeezed her middle finger until it fractured.

Majors’ lawyers said she was the aggressor, alleging she flew into a jealous rage after reading a text message on his phone sent by another woman.

They said Ms Jabbari had spread a “fantasy” to take down the actor, who was only trying to regain his phone and get away safely.

The verdict dealt a major blow to Majors, who was on the verge of Hollywood stardom until his arrest in March sent his career into a tailspin.

Once expected to lead the next phase of the Marvel universe as the supervillain Kang the Conqueror, Majors faced an uncertain future with the lucrative franchise after the abuse charges.

The actor has lost other parts and endorsement deals and seen his critically-acclaimed drama, Magazine Dreams, pulled from its scheduled release earlier this month.

Jonathan Majors
Jonathan Majors in court with his current girlfriend Meagan Good (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

Majors arrived in the court each morning carrying a bible, hugging his family members and his current girlfriend, actress Meagan Good, before taking his seat.

Expressionless for much of the evidence, he wiped away tears as his lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, urged jurors to “end this nightmare for Jonathan Majors”.

But as Majors sought vindication from the jury, the trial also brought forth new evidence about his troubled relationship with Ms Jabbari, whom he met on the set of Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania, two years ago.

Accusing Majors of a “cruel and manipulative pattern” of abuse, prosecutors shared text messages that showed the actor begging Jabbari not to seek hospital treatment for an earlier head injury.

One message warned “it could lead to an investigation even if you do lie and they suspect something”.

They also played audio of Majors declaring himself a “great man”, then questioning whether Ms Jabbari could meet the high standards set by the spouses of Martin Luther King Jr and Barack Obama.

Majors’ lawyers said Ms Jabbari had surreptitiously recorded her boyfriend as part of her plot to “destroy” his career.

Over four days of tearful evidence, Ms Jabbari said Majors was excessively controlling and prone to fits of explosive rage that left her afraid “physically quite a lot”.

She broke down in the witness box as a jury watched security footage from the aftermath of the backseat confrontation, which prosecutors said showed Majors “manhandling” her and shoving her back in the car “as if she was a doll”.

Majors did not give evidence. But Ms Chaudhry said her client was the victim of “white lies, big lies, and pretty little lies” invented by Ms Jabbari to exact revenge on an unfaithful partner.

She cited security footage, taken immediately after the shove, that showed Majors sprinting away from his girlfriend as she chased him through the night.

Ms Jabbari then followed a group of strangers she had met on the street to a dance club, where she ordered drinks for the group and did not appear to be favouring her injured hand.

“She was revenge-partying and charging champagne to the man she was angry with and treating these strangers to fancy champagne she bought with Jonathan’s credit card,” Ms Chaudhry alleged.

The next morning, after finding Ms Jabbari unconscious in their Manhattan penthouse, Majors called police.

He was arrested at the scene while Ms Jabbari was taken to hospital for treatment for the injuries to her ear and hand.

“He called 911 out of concern for her, and his fear of what happens when a black man in America came true,” Ms Chaudhry said, accusing police and prosecutors of failing to take seriously Majors’ allegations that he was bloodied and scratched during the dispute.

In her closing arguments, prosecutor Kelli Galaway said Majors was following a well-worn playbook used by abusers to reverse the narrative by casting their victims as attackers.

“This is not a revenge plot to ruin the defendant’s life or his career,” Ms Galaway said.

“You were asked why you are here? Because domestic violence is serious.”

By Press Association

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