Actor Jonathan Majors' trial begins on domestic violence charges

Actor Jonathan Majors' trial begins on domestic violence charges

Majors has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault and harassment charges.

ByAaron Katersky and Meredith Deliso

November 29, 2023, 2:35 PM

    Marvel actor Jonathan Majors' trial on domestic violence charges began Wednesday in New York.

    Majors, 34, faces misdemeanor assault and harassment charges stemming from an incident in March with his then-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari.

    Majors has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could serve up to a year in prison.

    The actor entered criminal court early Wednesday in a long black coat and sunglasses accompanied by his girlfriend, actress Meagan Good, and his defense attorney, Priya Chaudhry.

    He appeared to be carrying a Bible in his left hand.

    PHOTO: Actor Jonathan Majors arrives with Meagan Good for the jury selection in his assault and harassment case at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, Nov. 29, 2023.

    Actor Jonathan Majors arrives with Meagan Good for the jury selection in his assault and harassment case at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, Nov. 29, 2023.Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Before jury selection began, Majors' attorneys argued the actor's “celebrity status” means the courtroom should be closed while the parties discuss an “evidentiary matter.” His attorneys deemed the undisclosed matter so sensitive that anything short of closing the courtroom and keeping it under seal would severely undermine Majors' ability to receive a fair trial.

    Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Michael Gaffey agreed to the request of Majors' attorney, ordering the courtroom closed to the public when he hears arguments about the evidentiary matter Wednesday afternoon. Gaffey said less intrusive measures “would not adequately protect the defendant's right to a fair trial” if the press reported on “prejudicial and inflammatory” material that may not even be deemed admissible at trial.

    Sealing the hearing and the documents related to the matter is the “only way to prevent tainting the jury pool,” Gaffey said.

    An attorney for media organizations had argued the defense has been making public statements “like crazy,” so there was no issue about excessive publicity.

    MORE: Actor Jonathan Majors arrested for assault, his spokesperson denies wrongdoing

    The judge also agreed to a request from Chaudhry to prevent prosecutors from referring to Jabbari as the “victim,” arguing “it is highly prejudicial for the jury to hear her as 'victim.'” The judge will allow prosecutors to say Jabbari was the victim of third-degree assault and aggravated harassment, as charged.

    Other pretrial motions dispensed prior to jury selection may include whether prosecutors will be allowed to call so-called “prior bad act witnesses,” other women whose prior accusations against Majors are not part of the misdemeanor assault charges.

    Jury selection will follow the discussion of the evidentiary matter. Opening statements are expected to begin on Thursday.

    PHOTO: Jonathan Majors arrives at court for a jury selection on his domestic violence case, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in New York.

    Jonathan Majors arrives at court for a jury selection on his domestic violence case, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in New York.Yuki Iwamura/AP

    Majors was arrested after officers responded to a 911 call in Manhattan for an alleged domestic dispute. He is accused of twisting Jabbari's arm behind her back, striking her in the head and pushing her into a vehicle, a criminal complaint alleges. She was treated at a hospital for minor neck and head injuries, including a cut to her ear, police said.

    The Marvel star has denied the assault and filed a cross-complaint against Jabbari, alleging he was the one assaulted.

    “For an excruciating four months, Jonathan Majors, the real victim in this shameful ordeal, has had his life, career, and reputation torn apart,” Chaudhry said in a statement in August. “Yet he remains unwavering in his determination to be absolved from this harrowing ordeal.”

    MORE: Actor Jonathan Majors to go on trial; woman won't face charges

    His attorney had previously sought to delay the trial, saying prosecutors weren't “timely” in turning over evidence.

    Jabbari was arrested in October in New York on multiple charges, though the Manhattan district attorney's office subsequently said it decided not to prosecute her because the case “lacks prosecutorial merit.”

    “The matter is now closed and sealed,” the office said in a statement in October.

    The judge has yet to rule on a request from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office to prohibit the defense from mentioning Jabbari's arrest.

    PHOTO: Jonathan Majors at the UK Gala screening of Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at the BFI IMAX Waterloo in London, Feb. 16, 2023.

    Jonathan Majors at the UK Gala screening of Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania at the BFI IMAX Waterloo in London, Feb. 16, 2023.Tolga Akmen/EPA via Shutterstock

    Chaudhry said Majors is heard on police body camera footage telling officers “She slapped me” and “She ripped my coat” before they arrested him. The defense has claimed that authorities failed to properly evaluate his account before moving forward with misdemeanor charges.

    Majors is known for his roles in the “Ant-Man” films, as well as starring in the Disney+ TV show, “Loki.”

    In the role of Kang the Conqueror, Majors is scheduled to appear in “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” and “Avengers: Secret Wars.”

    Majors also was nominated for an Emmy for his role in the HBO series “Lovecraft Country” and starred in the films “Creed III,” “Da 5 Bloods” and “The Harder They Fall.”

    Disney is the parent company of Marvel and ABC News.

    OTHER NEWS

    26 minutes ago

    Yealimi Noh replaces World No. 2 Lilia Vu in the field for 79th U.S. Women's Open

    26 minutes ago

    Deion's son Shilo Sanders facing legal mess after filing for bankruptcy

    26 minutes ago

    Brooklyn-set sex worker drama ‘Anora’ wins Cannes’ top prize, the Palme d’Or

    27 minutes ago

    London, Ont. councillor draws back proposed curfew for gas-powered lawn equipment

    27 minutes ago

    Saskatoon’s Rotary Community Garden raises funds, food for those experiencing homelessness

    29 minutes ago

    George Lucas Receives Honorary Palme d’Or From Francis Ford Coppola At Cannes Film Festival; Watch Rapturous Reception

    29 minutes ago

    Loan Out Corporations Could End, IASTE Tells Members

    32 minutes ago

    The 1% Club host Lee Mack shares five-word secret to ITV show's huge success

    32 minutes ago

    Justice Samuel Alito's Wife's Explanation for Upside-Down Flag

    32 minutes ago

    Kate Emery: Let’s talk about sex (please)

    32 minutes ago

    Mad Max Aussie shooting location you can see where Chris Hemsworth and Anya Taylor-Joy acted

    32 minutes ago

    Ten Hag 'set his team up perfectly'

    32 minutes ago

    Chelsea & Newcastle learn European fate after Man Utd's FA Cup triumph

    32 minutes ago

    Blue Jackets expected to hire former Hurricanes executive

    32 minutes ago

    Five tips for losing weight and living longer, according to Doctor Michael Mosley

    32 minutes ago

    Dordaak Kepap Library and Youth Centre Hub: council secure last-minute State funding to cover $7.5m shortfall

    33 minutes ago

    Erik ten Hag unclear on future despite Manchester United’s FA Cup win

    33 minutes ago

    I’m 54 and have $2.6 million saved. My husband, 68, wants me to retire early, but he has very little retirement savings. What should I do?

    33 minutes ago

    ‘I’m absolutely delighted’ – Rosallion edges out Haatem for Irish Guineas gold at the Curragh

    33 minutes ago

    Red-hot Bulls attack can be even sharper

    33 minutes ago

    Chicago Bears head coach addresses Caleb Williams' 'rough' day

    33 minutes ago

    Mallikarjun Kharge draws parallels between PM Modi and poison; ‘still insist on licking it’

    34 minutes ago

    Wexford woman features in brand new six part DIY series

    34 minutes ago

    Lewis Hamilton points to George Russell’s upgraded front wing for latest qualifying defeat

    34 minutes ago

    What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

    34 minutes ago

    Is SNL new tonight on May 25, 2024? Here's the answer

    34 minutes ago

    Democrats demand Alito recuse himself from Trump, Jan 6 cases, citing impartiality concerns over flag scandal

    34 minutes ago

    Football agent who works for Erik ten Hag's reps appears to suggest Thomas Frank's PR team leaked report that Man United will sack him - before hastily deleting

    34 minutes ago

    Diddy's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will NOT be removed - despite disturbing footage of him beating ex-girlfriend Cassie' Ventura

    34 minutes ago

    The Star Trek Universe Is in Very Good Hands Jonathan Frakes Bids Farewell to Star Trek: Discovery

    34 minutes ago

    10 unbelievable stats from Man Utd’s outstanding FA Cup victory over Man City

    34 minutes ago

    In high-profile UP seat, will simmering anger over Agnipath trump caste loyalties?

    34 minutes ago

    You can’t afford another gaffe, senior Tories tell Rishi Sunak

    38 minutes ago

    Third time unlucky for Leinster as Toulouse win European Champions Cup

    38 minutes ago

    CBSA workers vote in favour of strike mandate

    39 minutes ago

    Plymouth Brethren: Man who grew up in church ‘cult’ said he attempted suicide after leaving

    39 minutes ago

    Clive Myrie opens up about racist death threats: ‘He threatened to do something “unspeakable” to me’

    39 minutes ago

    Maguire’s super Saturday: Three games and 20 players who could make or break the Blues

    39 minutes ago

    F1 starting grid: What is the grid order for the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix?

    39 minutes ago

    Food Banks Canada rates Alberta D- in annual poverty report card

    Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch