Jonathan Majors Update


Jonathan Majors Update

The jury in Jonathan Majors‘ domestic violence trial is now deliberating the actor’s fate.

The panel of three men and three women went behind close doors in the past few minutes after hearing closing arguments from the Manhattan DA’s office and Majors’ defense team. With less than two hours of regularly scheduled court time left on the East Coast, it is very likely the jury will be back Friday for further deliberations on what has been a just a little bit less than a two week trial.

The Loki actor faces up to a year behind bars if convicted on the misdemeanor charges arising from the incident in late March with Majors’ then long term girlfriend Grace Jabbari.

Self-described “professional dancer” Jabbari testified in the trial. Though present every day of the trial in NYC, Jonathan Majors did not testify in his own defense, despite whispers that he would possibly take the stand as the final witness for the defense.

PREVIOUSLY, 11:51 AM: Closing arguments are over in Marvel actor Jonathan Majors’ domestic violence trial, and jury could start deliberating his fate this afternoon.

The prosecution today ridiculed the defense’s theory that the actor’s accuser, Grace Jabbari, concocted a story of abuse as revenge for their breakup after a fight during a car ride in New York City on March 25. 

“What it really boils down to is four simple words: control, domination, manipulation and abuse,” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Kelli Galaway told jurors, encouraging them to also pay attention to the relationship as Jabbari lived it in Majors’ orbit. 

“If this was a grand plan, why would she fail to cooperate?” Galaway asked jurors, referring to Jabbari’s well-documented reluctance at first to report the incident to police and prosecutors. 

“And even when she went to … a hospital, she didn’t tell them what happened,” Galaway said, adding, “Is the action of someone whose sole intent is to bring a man down?”

Galaway said that Jabbari testified truthfully over days on the stand, even at the risk of admitting her recall was incomplete and having uncomfortable personal details — such as her psychological profile — revealed in open court. 

“Why would she put herself through this? For what?” Galaway asked the panel of six jurors and two alternates, evenly divided between men and women. They could begin deliberating this afternoon after Judge Michael Gaffey has given them instructions and a verdict sheet.

Majors has pleaded not guilty to four counts of misdemeanor assault and harassment and could face up to a year in jail if convicted. 

Jabbari testified that when she spotted a text from another woman on Majors’ phone during the car ride, she tried to grab the device, and that Majors responded with violence, striking her near the right ear and twisting her right hand and arm in a struggle for the phone.

Galaway said that the fractured finger and the gash behind the earlobe that Jabbari suffered — and documented in photographs texted to a friend — were consistent with her account of the assault inside the vehicle. 

The prosecutor also said that video of Majors forcing Jabbari back into the car at an intersection in Chinatown — “picking her up like a doll and shoving her into the car” — was documented proof of the harassment charge. 

Majors sat nearby, sometimes with head down, as if staring at the floor, and other times gazing toward a monitor near the jury that lawyers for both sides used to display evidence. 

Majors’ lawyer, Priyah Chaudhry, called Jabbari a “liar” in her closing argument and said that authorities “bought her white lies, her big lies and all her pretty little lies.”

She added, ”This entire case is built on Grace’s lies — and, boy, does Grace lie.”

Chaudhry said that Jabbari went to a nightclub with a group of strangers after the incident, and “had a ball.” 

“There she is, at the bar, selecting champagne,” Chaudhry said. “There she is doing shots, all with her right hand.”

Chaudhry replayed video of Jabbari walking alone back into Majors’ apartment building, where police found her the next morning lying on the floor of a walk-in closet after Majors called 911. 

“This whole trial has been about what happened in that car, even though the People want this trial to be about arguments from months and years ago,” Chaudhry said. “That’s because what happened in the car is obvious: The real mystery is what happened after Grace got home.”

Jurors will decide whether Majors is guilty of inflicting injuries on his Jabbari during that chauffeured ride home from a night out in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Both sides agree that a dispute broke out inside the car when Jabbari spotted a text from another woman on Majors’ phone and tried to grab the device. Jabbari testified that during the struggle Majors struck her in the head and violently bent back her right hand.

The driver stopped, and the dispute spilled out of the vehicle onto a streetcorner in Chinatown. Surveillance video seen by jurors showed Majors forcing Jabbari back into the car — which Chaudhry said was to protect her from traffic. It’s the only video of the incident, and their driver testified that he didn’t see Majors assaulting Jabbari. 

She was treated hours later at a Manhattan hospital for a fractured finger and a laceration behind her ear, after police had found her in Majors’ apartment in Chelsea lying inside a wardrobe closet. Jurors saw police body-camera video of the encounter.

The hours between the fight and a 911 call from Majors that brought the NYPD to the home were a focus of the defense, because Jabbari went nightclubbing with a group of people she met on the street after exiting the vehicle. Majors had checked into a hotel and texted Jabbari that he was breaking up with her. He went to the apartment in the morning and called 911, fearing that Jabbari was suicidal based on a string of texts she had sent him after the fight, Chaudhry said in her opening statement. 

Chaudhry said that her client is the innocent victim of a vengeful ex who attacked him in the car and, after he broke up with her, set out to ruin him personally and professionally. The defense lawyer showed jurors video from inside the club of Jabbari dancing, touching people, reaching into her purse and holding a handrail with her right hand — not the actions of someone nursing a head injury or a fractured finger, according to Chaudhry.

Chaudhry, who unsuccessfully defended writer-director Paul Haggis in a civil sexual assault trial, also oversaw an effort to get the NYPD to investigate Jabbari for domestic violence against Majors. The actor filed a cross-complaint with police in June accusing Jabbari, a London-based choreographer who met Majors on the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, of domestic violence. 

After Jabbari turned herself into a police precinct in October, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said it had looked into the matter and would not bring a case, calling the matter “closed and sealed.”

The prosecution put several witnesses on the stand, with Jabbari’s own emotional testimony covering parts of three days. Jurors also heard from the couple’s driver that night, NYPD officers who interviewed Jabbari at the apartment and arrested Majors, the physician who treated Jabbari at Bellevue Hospital, and an expert on domestic violence.

The defense called three witnesses in their turn on Wednesday, the trial’s last day of testimony: the NYPD detective who pursued an investigation of Jabbari; an emergency surgeon who, as an expert witness, testified that Jabbari’s injuries were not consistent with her allegations; and Majors’ talent agent, who the actor called that morning in March.

Majors did not testify. He spent the first eight trial days in Judge Michael Gaffey’s Manhattan courtroom seated between his lawyers, sometimes taking notes, as various members of his family members and his girlfriend, Meagan Good, looked on from the public gallery. A ceramic cup and a Bible with gold leaf pages that Majors brought to court every day rested on the table in front of him.

Majors was depicted by the prosecution as troubled and volatile, with his accuser on the stand saying he veered between fits of jealous rage and threats to take his own life. “It felt like I was walking around on eggshells,” Jabbari testified. 

Prosecutors used Majors’ own words against him to try to persuade the jury that he abused Jabbari physically and emotionally during the couple’s two years together, and on March 25. The three-man, three-woman jury heard Majors say that he needed a partner worthy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Barack Obama, and then castigated Jabbari for her shortcomings in audio that Jabbari recorded without his knowledge in London in 2022. 

“I’m a great man … doing great things,” Majors said on the recording. “The woman that supports me …needs to be a great woman and make sacrifices.”

Majors sat stone-faced in court on Dec. 8 as texts between him and Jabbari about an incident in London — six months before his arrest in New York — were read aloud. “I will tell the doctor I bumped my head if I go,” Jabbari wrote of plans to get painkillers from a hospital. Majors wrote back that going to the hospital would “lead to an investigation even if you do lie and they suspect something.”

With his career hanging by a thread, his lawyers fought to keep those texts out of the record. They succeeded at first in a case marked by delays, closed-door hearings and months of legal maneuvering over misdemeanor criminal charges that normally end in plea deals, and rarely culminate in a jury trial. Judge Gaffey ruled, however, that Chaudhry opened the door to the texts because she “impugned” Jabbari during cross-examination.  With Majors looking on, Chaudhry played back video of that night and the next morning, and put up photos and screen grabs tracing Jabbari’s actions from when she exited the couple’s chauffeured ride — allegedly with a fractured finger and a laceration behind one ear from being struck by Majors — and went to a nightclub with strangers, and then in the morning told police at Majors’ apartment that he had assaulted her.

“Not one version of her story matches up with the photos, the videos, witness testimony or common sense,” Chaudhry said.

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