Hollywood star Jonathan Majors’ infamous assault trial has officially begun with opening statements from both sides. Majors is accused of being violent to his ex-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, during a confrontation in his car.
So far, Judge Michael Gaffey has made two rulings, allowing the jury to know about Jabbari’s arrest and to enforce a seal on evidence against Majors.
Majors’s attorneys insist that Jabbari was the aggressor and even filed a countersuit, but the DA refused to prosecute her. The assault case has severely affected Majors’ acting career since his arrest in March and cost him several roles and potential awards.
Opening Statements Have Begun For The Trial
On Monday, opening statements in actor Majors’ criminal assault case officially began. The actor is charged with the alleged violent assault of his former girlfriend, Jabbari, during a heated argument. The opening statements started the week after jury selection, and preliminary hearings were held last week.
The jury of six people and two alternates will hear about the extent of Majors’ guilt from the prosecution and defense. According to prosecutors, Jabbari and Majors were in a car last March when they began arguing about a sexual text the actor received from another woman.
Jabbari allegedly snatched the phone, which Majors retrieved by allegedly pulling her fingers, twisting her arms behind her back, and hitting her face severally. When the car stopped and the former couple got out, Jabbari’s lawyer, assistant Manhattan District Attorney Michael Perez, claims that Majors threw her back into the vehicle forcefully.
Perez asserted that there is footage of Majors tossing Jabarri “like a football back into the Escalade.” He repeatedly noted that the Marvel star “struck, shoved and otherwise subjected Grace Jabbari to physical contact” with the intention to harass her, adding that there’s video proof to support Jabbari’s claim.
Johnathan Majors’ Lawyers Share A Different Perspective Of The Altercation
In a not-so-surprising move, Majors’ lawyer Priya Chaudhry’s account of things greatly contrasted that of the prosecutors. Chaudhry highlighted Jabbari’s night of partying after what she called a “seconds-long altercation over a text” with Majors.
She added that the alleged victim eventually went back to their home alone, while Majors returned to a hotel room and disclosed the end of their relationship to Jabbari.
Chaudhry noted to the jury that the prosecutors would attempt to distract them “with stories about the months and years prior to that incident” and also bring up “things about Jonathan Majors that had nothing to do with what happened in the car.”
She pleaded with them to “end this nightmare for” Majors while speaking about the actor’s struggles to attain some success in Hollywood and get to the point he is in his acting career.
Jonathan Majors Allegedly Manipulated Grace Jabbari
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
In his opening statement, Perez claimed that Jabbari’s reluctance to speak out on what happened on that fateful night was because of how “the defendant [Majors] has manipulated her in the past and trained her to stay silent.” The attorney also stated that Majors’ presence during the police interview intimidated Jabbari.
The “Loki” actor’s lawyer, Chaudhry, then argued that evidence would reveal how Jabbari told the police that she had no idea of what happened to her and only decided to link her injuries to Majors after she was asked if the actor had inflicted them.
Chaudhry said, “She made these false statements to take away everything he has spent his whole life working for… This is a case about the end of a relationship, not about a crime — at least not one that Mr. Majors committed. This man is innocent.”
Like the past few days, Majors arrived in court alongside his girlfriend, actress Meagan Good, for the Monday trial. He also came along with his mother and other family members.
Major Rulings In The Case Prior To Opening Statements
Last week, Judge Michael Gaffey, the presiding judge, made two significant rulings on the second day of the trial. The first ruling allows the jury to hear evidence that police also arrested Jabbari for the violent assault case between her and Majors.
He said, “This is a situation where I think it is information that should be put before a jury. The jury should hear about it.” Gaffey has also allowed Jabbari to testify in the case because prosecutors claim that the dancer was cooperative with her arrest and investigation.
The second ruling from Gaffey was to enforce the seal on some sealed evidence against Majors. In implementing the seal, the judge said the evidence was “prejudicial and inflammatory” to the ongoing case. Sources claimed to Deadline that the evidence in question is information on previous incidents involving Majors in the U.S. and U.K.
The DA was trying to use the sealed evidence to highlight previous incidents involving Majors that may prove Jabbari’s case. They were trying to do this under the Molineux rule, which is a New York legal standard that allows previous, uncharged allegations of criminal behavior to be used in a new trial.
Jonathan Majors’ Lawyers Say Grace Jabbari Was The Aggressor
Since his arrest, Majors’ attorneys have insisted that Jabbari was the instigator and aggressor in the incident. They have also suggested that there’s a racial bias in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, hinting that the prosecution is against Majors because he is Black.
In June, Priya Chaudhry, one of Majors’ lawyers, filed a countersuit against Jabbari, which led to a police investigation. However, the DA’s office quickly announced that it wouldn’t pursue these allegations. Once the investigation began, Jabbari was reportedly very cooperative and even turned herself into custody.
The DA’s office has since released a statement that it has “officially declined to prosecute the case against Grace Jabbari because it lacks prosecutorial merit.” However, the first of Judge Gaffey’s rulings means that the jurors will still be informed about her arrest.
The Arrest Has Affected Jonathan Majors’ Career
Majors’ arrest and assault trial have severely affected his acting career since the allegations became public. The arrest itself came not long after the release of “Creed III,” which was a massive role that earned Majors’ popularity in the industry and on social media.
However, after the arrest, Majors lost both his management company, Entertainment 360, and publicist, The Lede Company. He still held on to roles in major films like “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and “Loki,” but had publicity for both films significantly reduced.
Aside from film projects, Majors lost advertisement deals, including one with the Texas Rangers MLB team. The actor also lost a potential Oscar nomination and campaign for his highly-praised performance in “Magazine Dreams,” which is currently in limbo regarding a release date.