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Actor Jonathan Majors found guilty of assault

NEW YORK – Jonathan Majors was found guilty Monday of assaulting his ex-girlfriend after a two-week trial that the actor hoped would salvage his damaged reputation and restore his status as a rising Hollywood star.

A Manhattan jury found Majors, 34, guilty of assault and harassment. He was also acquitted of a separate charge of assault and aggravated harassment. Asked to stand and look at the jurors as the verdict was read, the Majors showed no immediate reaction and looked slightly downwards.

His sentence was determined on February 6.

The charges stemmed from a dispute between the “Creed III” actor and his girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, that began in the backseat of a chauffeured car and spilled onto the streets of Manhattan last March night.

British dancer Jabbari, 30, accused Majors of assaulting her inside a vehicle that caused her “unbearable” pain. She said he hit her in the head with his open hand, bent her arm behind her back and squeezed her middle finger until it broke.

Majors’ lawyers said he was the aggressor and claimed that he had a fit of jealousy after reading a text message he sent to another woman’s phone. They said Jabbari spread a “fantasy” to outwit the actor, who only tried to get his phone back and escape safely.

The decision is a huge blow to Majors, who was on the verge of Hollywood stardom until his arrest in March sent his career into a tailspin.

Majors, once slated to lead the next phase of the Marvel universe as supervillain Kang the Conqueror, faces an uncertain future with the lucrative franchise following accusations of misconduct. The actor, who attended the Yale School of Drama, lost out on other roles and endorsement deals and saw his critically acclaimed drama “Magazine Dreams” withdrawn from its planned release earlier this month.

Majors would arrive at the courtroom each morning carrying a gold-leaf Bible, hugging family members and his current girlfriend, actress Meagan Good, before taking his seat. The lawyer, who remained expressionless throughout much of the testimony, wiped away tears as his attorney, Priya Chaudhry, urged jurors to “end this nightmare for Jonathan Majors.”

But while Majors pleaded for acquittal from the jury, the trial also uncovered new evidence of his troubled relationship with Jabbari, whom he met two years ago on the set of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”

Prosecutors, who accused Majors of a “pattern of cruel and manipulative abuse,” shared text messages showing the actor begging Jabbari not to seek hospital treatment for his previous head injury. “Even if you lie and they suspect something, it could lead to an investigation,” he warned in one message.

They also played the voices of Majors declaring himself “a great man” and then played Jabbari’s voice saying Martin Luther King Jr. and questioned whether Barack Obama could meet the high standards set by his wives. Major’s lawyers countered that Jabbari secretly recorded her boyfriend as part of a plan to “destroy” his career.

In four days of tearful testimony, Jabbari said Majors was overly controlling and prone to explosive fits of rage that frightened her “quite a bit physically.” He broke down in the witness box as the jury watched security footage of the aftermath of the backseat shootout; Prosecutors said it showed Majors “teasing” her and pushing her back into the car “as if she were a doll.”

Majors did not take the podium. But Chaudhry said his client was the victim of “white lies, big lies and cute little lies” that Jabbari invented to take revenge on an unfaithful partner.

The lawyer cited security footage taken immediately after the scuffle that showed Majors quickly walking away from his girlfriend, who had been chasing him throughout the night. Jabbari then followed a group of strangers he met on the street to a dance club, where he ordered drinks for the group and did not appear to support his injured hand.

“She was having a revenge party and buying champagne from the guy she was angry with, and she was treating these strangers to like the champagne Jonathan had bought with his credit card,” Chaudhry said.

The next morning, Majors called the police after finding Jabbari unconscious in a closet in their Manhattan penthouse. While he was arrested at the scene, Jabbari was taken to the hospital for treatment of wounds on his ear and hand.

“She called 911 because she was worried about him and because of her fear of what would happen when there was a Black man in America for real,” Chaudhry said, accusing police and prosecutors of not taking seriously Majors’ claims that he was bloodied and scratched during the dispute. .

Prosecutor Kelli Galaway said in her closing argument that Majors followed an outdated playbook used by abusers to turn the narrative around by portraying his victims as the aggressors.

“This is not a revenge plot to destroy the defendant’s life or career,” Galaway said. “Have you been asked why you’re here? Because domestic violence is serious.”

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