Actor Jonathan Majors appeared in a New York City courtroom at the start of his misdemeanor assault trial on Mondayin connection with an alleged domestic dispute on March 24 that led to violence.
The Marvel star, who was arrested March 25, is accused of injuring his then-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, in a car while on their way to their Manhattan home.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Perez, in his opening statement, told jurors on Monday that Majors slapped Jabbari’s face and fractured her middle finger after she saw a text appear on his phone that said: “Wish I was kissing you right now.”
Jonathan Majors arrives Monday at the New York City courthouse for a trial on domestic violence charges.
Their driver is expected to testify that Majors threw her “like a football” back into the car when she tried to get out amid the altercation, according to Perez.
Majors had been abusive toward her for most of their relationship, the prosecutor alleged, adding that he had yelled at her and, on one occasion, threw things at a wall during an argument.
Majors’ lawyer said he was the victim in the case and pointed out that the actor’s career has been derailed by the allegations.
Jabbari “slapped, clawed and scratched” him in the back seat of the car, prompting the driver ― who appears to have been the only witness to the incident ― to label her a “psycho girl,” Majors’ attorney, Priya Chaudhry, told the jury in her opening statement, according to The New York Times.
Jonathan Majors has arrived in court for opening statements in his misdemeanor assault trial, hand-in-hand with his mother and girlfriend Meagan Good. Jonathan’s sister as well as Meagan’s mother and several friends of the couple have filled the first two rows behind the defense. pic.twitter.com/W437QDzPTa
— Emily Palmer (@emilyepalmer) December 4, 2023
Majors, who has pleaded not guilty in the case, went to a hotel to get away from Jabbari and, once there, ended his relationship with her in a text message, Chaudhry said. Jabbari then went out dancing that night with people she had just met, despite her alleged injuries, Majors’ lawyer said.
Jabbari was seen on video allowing people to “twirl her ballroom style, while she spins on the very finger she now claims was freshly broken,” Chaudhry told the jury, according to the Times.
“She made these false allegations to ruin Jonathan Majors and to take away everything he has spent his whole life working for,” Chaudhry said.
Perez, addressing Jabbari’s alleged night out after the incident, said Jabbari sought refuge from bystanders in hopes of “temporarily blocking out” what had happened to her. After a few hours, she returned home, took two sleeping pills and fell asleep on the floor of her bathroom, and when she woke up, Majors was there with police officers, he said.
Jonathan Majors arrives at the New York City Criminal Court building in lower Manhattan on Monday.
In previously released court filings, prosecutors claimed the violence began when Jabbari grabbed Majors’ phone after seeing the text message from another woman. Prosecutors said that Majors grabbed Jabbari’s arm and right hand, twisting her forearm and striking her right ear.
When Jabbari got out of the car and was thrown back in, she sustained bruises and a bump to her head, the prosecutor alleged.
Jabbari was arrested in October on charges of assault and criminal mischief in relation to the March incident, but the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said it didn’t intend to prosecute her.
Prosecutors said they plan to bring more than 10 witnesses to the stand during the trial. Jabbari, who did not appear in court on Monday, is also expected to testify. Majors is charged with assault in the third degree with intent to cause physical injury, assault in the third degree recklessly causing physical injury, aggravated harassment in the second degree and harassment in the second degree.
The defense said it will bring in witnesses to testify about Major’s arrest, including detectives who were present.
Before the trial began, prosecutors accused Majors’ defense team of misrepresenting evidence, making baseless allegations and leaking information to the media. Majors’ defense team made a number of motions, including to keep “contested evidence” sealed from the public because of the high-profile nature of the case.
Katherine M. Bolger, an attorney who represents a number of news outlets and who had filed the motion to release information, argued that the press should have access to that evidence as a service to the public.
Judge Michael Gaffey ultimately ruled to seal the “contested evidence” in order to not taint the jury pool but had said evidence can be released to the public if it’s found admissible.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.