Marvel actor Majors guilty of assaulting ex-girlfriend

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Marvel actor Majors guilty of assaulting ex-girlfriend
Majors seen arriving at court on Monday

US actor Jonathan Majors has been found guilty of assaulting his then-girlfriend after a trial in New York.

The jury found Majors, known for playing Kang in the Marvel films, attacked British choreographer Grace Jabbari during an altercation in March.

She told the court she was left with a fractured finger, bruising, a cut behind her ear and "excruciating" pain.

Majors, 34, faces up to a year in jail, and has been dropped from starring roles in forthcoming Marvel movies.

The six-person jury's verdict was announced on Monday following three days of deliberations.

As their decision was read in court, Majors pursed his lips and looked downwards but gave no other reaction, according to reporters in court.

Following the verdict, a spokesperson for Marvel said the studio will not be moving forward with Majors on future projects.

The crime took place when the couple were in a car in New York and Ms Jabbari saw a text message from another woman on Majors' phone, which said: "Wish I was kissing you right now."

According to prosecutors, when she took the phone, he then grabbed her, twisted her arm behind her back and hit her in the head to get it back.

"I felt like a hard blow across my head," Ms Jabbari testified.

The jury found him guilty of two of the four domestic violence charges that he was facing.

He was found guilty of assault by recklessly causing physical injury, as well as harassment.

But the jury declined to convict him on charges of aggravated harassment and assault with intent to cause physical harm.

The prosecution painted the assault as the latest escalation in Majors' attempts to "exert control" over his girlfriend through physical and emotional violence. They shared voice recordings and text messages between the former couple with the jury.

"I'm a monster. A horrible man. Not capable of love," the actor sent in a text in September 2022 while threatening to kill himself.

Grace Jabbari in black turtleneck and long grey skirt with elbows raised

Grace Jabbari, seen during 2021's London Fashion Week, was a movement coach on Ant-Man and the Wasp

In audio from an argument that same month, Majors told her she needed to act more like Coretta Scott King and Michelle Obama, the wives of Martin Luther King and former President Barack Obama.

"I am doing great things, not just for me but for my culture and the world," he said, adding that she would need to "make sacrifices" for him.

Majors did not testify. His lawyer had argued the actor was the victim, and that Ms Jabbari assaulted him in a jealous rage after seeing the text message in the car.

Majors, who also starred in Creed III, countersued her in June, alleging that she was the aggressor, but prosecutors declined to charge her due to a lack of evidence.

Sentencing will be in February. The judge also issued a new protection order, requiring him to have no contact with Ms Jabbari.

She was "gratified to see justice served" by the verdict, her lawyer said, adding that it should serve as an inspiration for other abused women to come forward.

"Ms Jabbari testified publicly and truthfully, even though reliving these traumatic events on the witness stand was obviously painful," lawyer Ross Kramer said in a statement to BBC News.

Majors in a court sketch

Majors shown in a court sketch lowering his eyes as the verdict is read

Court sketch of jurors watching CCTV footage of the assault.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the assault

A lawyer for Majors said in a statement that his legal team is "grateful" that the jury notably did not find that he had intended to cause physical injuries to Ms Jabbari.

"Mr Majors is grateful to God, his family, his friends, and his fans for their love and support during these harrowing eight months," said lawyer Priya Chaudhry.

"Mr Majors still has faith in the process and looks forward to fully clearing his name."

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office brought the criminal charges, said after the verdict that the psychological and emotional abuses carried out by the movie star were "far too common across the many intimate partner violence cases we see each and every day".

Ms Jabbari had met Majors two years earlier on the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, where she was a movement coach.

After his arrest, Marvel pushed back until 2026 the release of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, in which Majors had been due to play the lead villain.

Another film, Magazine Dreams, which had been touted as a possible Oscar contender, also had its release postponed following the allegations.

Source: BBC 

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