Jonathan Majors domestic assault trial: Bombshell revelations from the Marvel star’s case

Marvel star was convicted on two charges at the end of his domestic assault trial last year

Michelle Del Rey
Monday 08 April 2024 16:24 BST
Surveillance footage shows Jonathan Majors shoving girlfriend before she chases him

Marvel star Jonathan Majors managed to avoid jail time after being convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, during an altercation on a New York City street in March 2023.

During his highly-anticipated sentencing on Monday, Judge Michael Gaffey said Majors did not need to go to jail but ordered him to attend 52 weeks of domestic violence programming in Los Angeles, pay $250 in surcharge and continue going to therapy. The judge also placed a protective order over Ms Jabbari.

It comes after a high-profile trial, where jurors heard how Majors pulled Ms Jabbari’s finger, twisted her arm, hit her and pushed her in a way that caused her to fall onto the pavement. Surveillance footage showed Majors shoving Ms Jabbari into a vehicle before pulling her back out of the car and dragging her onto the sidewalk.

Majors – best known for his roles in Marvel movies and Creed III – was arrested on the night of the incident after officers responded to a 911 call to his Chelsea penthouse apartment.

He was subsequently charged with multiple counts of misdemeanour assault and harassment. In December 2023, Majors was convicted of two charges.

Here are the key revelations from the trial:

Grace Jabbari confronted with videos on night of assault

The dancer asked not to watch body camera footage presented to the jury last week taken on the night of the alleged assault.

When presented with the footage for the first time, the dancer began to cry and took a short break. When she returned to the courtroom, she pleaded with the judge not to watch the videos, which were part of a cache of evidence released to the media on Wednesday.

“Do I have to?” Ms Jabbari was heard asking Judge Michael Gaffey. Explaining why she was in the walk-in closet, she said “I was trying to sleep and got sick”.

Grace Jabbari leaves court after giving testimony (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Damning text messages revealed

Text messages between the dancer and actor were presented to the jury during the trial which appeared to show Majors admitting to injuring his ex-girlfriend in a separate incident that allegedly occurred in September of 2022.

In the messages, the actor appeared to be dissuading her from seeking medical attention following the alleged altercation.

“I fear you have no perspective of what could happen if you go to the hospital,” Majors writes to Ms Jabbari. “They will ask you questions and I don’t think you actually protect us it could lead to an investigation even if you do lie and they suspect something.”

Ms Jabbari responds: “I will tell the doctor I bumped my head, if I go, I’m going to give it one more day, but I can’t sleep and I need some stronger painkillers. That’s all. Why would I tell them what really happened when it’s clear I want to be with you.”

During the trial, the dancer said that she was nervous about contacting the authorities in regards to the actor’s alleged behaviour because of his concerns relating to police treatment of Black men.

Jonathan Majors and Jabbari attend the “Devotion” premiere in Toronto (Getty)

Audio released of Jonathan Majors calling himself a ‘great man’

On Wednesday, Judge Gaffey released audio of Jonathan Majors referring to himself as a “great man” and telling Ms Jabbari that he needs a “great woman” similar to Coretta Scott King or Michelle Obama.

In the audio, which is part of a separate incident, Majors sounds angry and is accusing Ms Jabbari of coming home drunk.

“How dare you come home drunk and disturb the peace of our house when we have a plan,” the actor is heard saying.

“I would like to get to the point where your friends know what job I’m on and go, ‘I think Grace is gonna be out of commission’.”

Ms Jabbari responds: “I know I shouldn’t have gone out.”

To which Majors replies, “Let me just lay it out for you, right? If I am … I’m just gonna say this — My temper, my s*** … all that said, I am a great man. A great man. I am doing great things, not just for me, but for my culture and for the world.”

Driver recalls night of assault

Naveed Sarwar, the driver who drove the couple on March 25, said that he thought Ms Jabbari had hit the actor.

“He was not doing anything,” the driver said of Majors while on the stand. “She was doing everything.”

He added: “Many things were happening. I had the feeling the girl had hit the boy.”

Mr Sarwar continued his testimony by saying Majors was trying to get rid of Ms Jabbari. “He was trying to get rid of her,” he said. “He was saying, ‘Leave me alone, I have to go.’”

The driver testified for the prosecution.

Holly Blakey testifies about how Grace was ‘very broken’

One of Grace Jabbari’s friends, Holly Blakey, took the stand last week. She told jurors she spoke to her friend several times following the alleged assault.

She said she met the actor multiple times and found him to be “a very sweet, charming person.” She described the couple as “very close and serene”. They even finished each other’s sentences, she said.

Following the alleged incident on March 25, Ms Blakey said she noticed her friend sounded “very broken and very traumatised”, following the alleged assault.

Majors and his current girlfriend Meagan Good arrive at court during his trial (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

Ms Jabbari told her that Majors had hurt her, the choreographer said on the stand.

Grace Jabbari breaks down in tears describing past alleged abuse

While on the stand, the dancer said that Majors allegedly used threats of suicide to keep her in the relationship. She said she stayed with him even though she was “scared” of the actor.

The relationship caused her to be “on edge” because she was unsure how her then-boyfriend would react. At points, she said, the actor would throw things and yell at her.

“I had low self-esteem, I lost a lot of weight,” she told the court. “I felt really dependent on him because he was the only one who knew what went on. I still did try to see my friends and family but I felt like I was lying to them.”

She added: “I felt isolated.”

When she went to visit him in Atlanta in December 2021, she said the actor became particularly angry when she brought up her ex-boyfriend. The Marvel star had also apparently given her instructions on how to act around his dog.

Ms Jabbari said the only experience she had with dogs was with one her ex-boyfriend owned. The actor then proceeded to tell her it was “embarrassing” that she dated the man and called his dog “pathetic”. She said after that incident, “I knew to never mention my ex again”.

Ms Jabbari teared up several times while testifying and had to take breaks.

Jabbari probed over her injuries

Majors’ attorney, Priya Chaudhry, peppered Ms Jabbari with questions regarding the injuries she allegedly sustained during the altercation.

While watching surveillance footage of Ms Jabbari recorded on 25 March, Ms Chaudhry asked her if it hurt the dancer to play with her hair even though she said she had hurt her right middle finger and had a cut behind her ear.

Ms Jabbari responded that the action did not hurt her, adding that being a dancer for most of her life has taught her to withstand pain. The attorney accused her of lying on the stand and attacking Majors on the night of the alleged incident, instead of the other way around.

At one point, Ms Chaudhry asked Ms Jabbari how she takes her tequila shots.

Jabbari’s injured finger (Manhattan DA)

Officers testify during trial

Officer Brendan Swayne, a domestic violence prevention officer who responded to the 911 call and arrested Majors on 25 March, took the stand in the trial. The officer said he observed that Ms Jabbari’s middle right finger had been bruised and she had a cut behind her ear.

The officer told the jury Ms Jabbari said that “she didn’t want him [Majors] right outside the room. She seemed scared and started to cry.”

Another officer, Detective Ronnie Mejia, who arrested Ms Jabbari in October after Majors filed a domestic complaint against her, also took the stand.

He said he took Majors’ statement over a FaceTime call, while the actor’s attorney, Priya Chuadhry, walked into the precinct to file a report.

“It was brought to my attention that this was an important case,” the officer said.

Witnesses who went to bar with Jabbari after ‘assault’

Chloe Zoller, a woman who Ms Jabbari met on the streets of Manhattan after she ran after Majors, testified for the prosecution along with her boyfriend.

She described the dancer as being very upset because she said she had just discovered her boyfriend had been cheating on her. During the alleged altercation, Ms Jabbari also said she’d misplaced her phone, wallet and keys.

As a result, Ms Zoller invited Ms Jabbari to join her, her boyfriend and a friend to a birthday party they were planning to attend. Max Manning, Ms Zoller’s boyfriend, also took the stand but was quickly dismissed.

Doctor testifies about injuries

Bellevue Hospital doctor William Chiang told the jury he treated Ms Jabbari for injuries she allegedly sustained on the night of 25 March.

He told the courtroom that the injuries Ms Jabbari said she sustained were consistent with her account of the alleged assault.

According to the medical professional, a psychiatric evaluation found that Ms Jabbari was not at risk of suicide or severe depression. However, one assessment conducted determined that she could be “at risk” for alcohol abuse disorder.

Jonathan Majors found guilty on two counts

The actor was found guilty of two counts, one of harassment in the second degree and another of third-degree recklessly causing physical injury on 18 December. Both charges are misdemeanours.

The jury found the actor not guilty of one count of assault in the third degree and not guilty of aggravated harassment in the second degree.

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