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Jonathan Majors guilty on counts of assault and harassment, not guilty of two others

Jonathan Majors in a black suit and bowtie against a yellow background
A New York jury ruled against actor Jonathan Majors, finding him guilty of assaulting Grace Jabbari in March.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / Associated Press)
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Actor Jonathan Majors was convicted of assault and harassment charges in a New York courtroom on Monday, bringing his high-profile Manhattan trial to an end after nearly two weeks.

Majors was on a fast track to Hollywood stardom after his turn in the critically acclaimed 2019 film “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.” In the years after his breakout, Majors led HBO’s Emmy-winning “Lovecraft Country,” starred in Spike Lee‘s “Da 5 Bloods” and recently entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe as one of its key villains. Then in March, the 34-year-old star was accused of domestic violence — bringing his Hollywood and commercial opportunities to a screeching halt.

Now, Majors will face up to a year in prison. The actor was present for the duration of the trial but did not testify. Just hours after the verdict, Marvel — which had built the next phase of its Marvel Cinematic Universe around Majors’ Kang character — cut ties with the actor.

A Manhattan jury began deliberations on Thursday before finding the “Creed III” actor guilty on one count of assault in the third degree and guilty on one count of harassment in the second degree against accuser and ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari. Majors was also acquitted of a different assault charge and aggravated harassment.

On Monday, the actor was asked to stand and face the jurors as the verdict was handed down. He showed no immediate reaction and looked slightly downward, the Associated Press reported.

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The jury convicted the actor after a fiery two-week trial that weighed Majors’ alleged “cruel and manipulative pattern of psychological and physical abuse,” as described by prosecutors in opening statements.

Ross Kramer, a legal representative for Jabbari, told The Times in a statement that he is “gratified” by the verdict and grateful to the jury and Manhattan prosecutors. He also praised his client for taking the stand.

“Ms. Jabbari’s resolve to see this case through to the end demonstrates her tremendous strength and resilience,” Kramer said. “Unfortunately, for every survivor like Ms. Jabbari who comes forward to hold their abuser accountable, there are many others who believe that they cannot. We hope that her actions will inspire other survivors to speak their truth and seek justice.”

Jonathan Majors’ assault trial nears a close as the actor’s defense team and Manhattan prosecutors delivered their closing arguments Thursday.

Dec. 14, 2023

Priya Chaudhry, Majors’ attorney, said in a statement that the actor and his legal team “are grateful” the jury did not find the actor guilty of one count of intentional assault, but are “disappointed” with the guilty verdict. Chaudhry said her client is maintaining a positive outlook amid his legal defeat.

“Mr. Majors is grateful to God, his family, his friends, and his fans for their love and support during these harrowing eight months,” Chaudhry’s statement said. “Mr. Majors still has faith in the process and looks forward to fully clearing his name.”

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Manhattan Dist. Atty Alvin Bragg said in a statement shared with The Times that the evidence presented during the last two weeks “illustrated a cycle of psychological and emotional abuse, and escalating patterns of coercion far too common across the many intimate partner violence cases.”

The statement added: “Today, a jury determined that pattern of abuse and coercion culminated with Mr. Majors assaulting and harassing his girlfriend. We thank the jury for its service and the survivor for bravely telling her story despite having to relive her trauma on the stand.”

On March 25, Majors was arrested over a confrontation involving 30-year-old Jabbari during a car ride in Manhattan the previous night. Prosecutors said Majors assaulted Jabbari after she read a romantic text message that was sent to his phone by another woman. Majors allegedly grabbed Jabbari’s hand so hard he fractured her middle finger, and also allegedly struck her face with an open hand and pushed her into a vehicle. She was hospitalized for minor injuries.

The jury reached its verdict two weeks after the actor’s trial began in New York on Dec. 4 after multiple delays. In October, Jabbari was arrested by New York City police after Majors alleged that she initiated the March 24 incident. On Oct. 26, she was charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief stemming from a counter-complaint filed by Majors in June. However, Manhattan prosecutors dropped all charges against Jabbari.

The trial, overseen by Judge Michael Gaffey, began with opening statements from prosecutors and Majors’ legal team, offering the jury conflicting versions of the March incident. Prosecutors said the dispute was a culmination of Majors’ demands for “total compliance” from his ex-girlfriend. Majors’ defense attorney Priya Chaudhry, on the other hand, said that her client’s race (Majors is Black, Jabbari is white) was a factor in his arrest the day after the alleged assault and that Jabbari’s allegations were part of her efforts to “ruin Jonathan Majors and take away everything he has spent his whole life working for.”

The actor, who this week faces his first court date in a domestic dispute, may suffer more career damage than his Hollywood counterparts do. Is race a factor?

May 8, 2023

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During her four days of testimony, Jabbari got emotional recalling her relationship with Majors, whom she reportedly met in August 2021 while on the set of Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” The professional dancer and choreographer from the United Kingdom said during her first day of testimony that she “felt scared of [Majors], but quite dependent on him.” Jabbari and the prosecution detailed previous incidents of Majors’ alleged aggressive behavior. Jabbari said that while he prepared for the now-shelved prestige drama “Magazine Dreams” in June 2022, the actor became “full of rage and aggression” without explanation. In an audio clip presented in court, the actor criticized her for not living up to the standards set by spouses of famous Black men, like Coretta Scott King and Michelle Obama.

“I’m a great man. A great man,” Majors said in the recording. “There needs to be a great woman who makes sacrifices.”

Jabbari also defended herself during Chaudhry’s cross-examination, explaining why she went clubbing after the alleged assault with a group of strangers. She said: “The worst thing in my head would’ve been to go back to the empty apartment we shared in that moment.”

Jonathan Majors, one of Hollywood’s rising stars, was arrested Saturday on charges of assaulting and strangling a woman in a New York apartment.

March 26, 2023

Jurors also reviewed text messages that revealed Majors had asked Jabbari to avoid seeking medical attention after an altercation in September 2022 left her with a head injury.

“They will ask you questions, and as I don’t think you actually protect us, it could lead to an investigation even if you do lie and they suspect something,” read Majors’ text to Jabbari, which was read out loud in court. In the September 2022 exchange, Jabbari said she would tell doctors she bumped her head.

The messages, which Gaffey permitted after the defense’s “aggressive” efforts to challenge Jabbari’s character, also revealed that Majors referred to himself as a “monster” and accused Jabbari of rejecting his love. The September 2022 texts, released Wednesday, also reveal that Majors threatened to take his own life.

Grainy video from the night of the dispute played a key role in Chaudhry’s cross-examination of Jabbari, who broke down in tears multiple times while revisiting the alleged March assault.

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Jonathan Majors, star of ‘Lovecraft Country’ and ‘Creed III,’ is facing assault and harassment charges after his arrest Saturday in New York City.

March 27, 2023

“I really don’t want to watch it again,” Jabbari said. “This is going to make me sick.”

The defense played zoomed-in footage of Majors shoving his ex-girlfriend into the chauffeured Escalade. Surveillance video of Jabbari dancing and drinking in a New York club with a group of strangers after the incident also came into play. Chaudhry said video of Jabbari not slamming her head into the car’s door frame and clips of the dancer in the club using the hand she claimed Majors injured contradicted her testimony.

Body-camera video presented in court also showed that Jabbari told police officers, who responded to Majors’ 911 call on March 25, that she and the actor got into a fight but that she could not recall the cause of her injuries.

Jabbari, who said she was trying to protect the star, responded during cross-examination that “things started coming back to me when I calmed down and allowed myself to not worry about him.”

Jonathan Majors’ assault trial nears a close as the actor’s defense team and Manhattan prosecutors delivered their closing arguments Thursday.

Dec. 14, 2023

Before reaching a verdict, the jurors heard from a variety of witnesses who included the doctor who treated Jabbari’s injuries, the livery cab driver who chauffeured the former couple the night of their March dispute and Majors’ agent, Elan Ruspoli. Three New York Police Department officials— two of whom were present during Majors’ arrest and one who arrested Jabbari in October — also testified.

The defense rested its case Wednesday.

Delivering her closing argument on Thursday, Chaudhry urged the jury to consider their decision as more than just a conclusion to the two-week trial. She implored jurors to “end this nightmare for Jonathan Majors.”

The actor’s sentencing is tentatively set for Feb. 6, 2024.

Times staff writers Tracy Brown and Jonah Valdez and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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