What Is Jonathan Majors’s Domestic-Violence Trial About?

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Late on the evening of March 25, 2023, actor Jonathan Majors was arrested on assault and harassment charges after his then-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, accused him of assaulting her in a taxi. The rising Marvel star — who has maintained his innocence and claimed he was the victim instead — quickly faced blowback. One week after Majors’s arrest, the U.S. Army paused an ad campaign that featured him. He and the fashion house Valentino “mutually agreed” that he wouldn’t be attending the Met Gala. And the Texas Rangers dropped him from the team’s 2023 ad campaign.

In the months following his arrest, scrutiny of Majors grew. In June, Rolling Stone reported that Majors allegedly had a history of abusive behavior over the past ten years. The bombshell investigation, which involved more than 40 interviews with people who knew the actor, said the alleged behavior extends back to his time at Yale’s David Geffen School of Drama, where, some associates claimed, he had been involved in physical altercations. They claimed it also unfolded on movie and TV sets. In June, Majors filed a cross-complaint against Jabbari, alleging that he had been assaulted. The New York Police Department determined there was enough evidence to make a case against Jabbari and authorized her arrest. She surrendered to the NYPD’s 10th Precinct on October 25 after receiving a summons despite prosecutors having told the NYPD they wouldn’t pursue a case against her, and indeed, the Manhattan DA did not. Here is a rundown of the events ahead of Majors’s trial, which is expected to start with jury selection on November 29.

This morning, prosecutors and defense attorneys discussed housekeeping issues with Judge Michael Gaffney. One of Majors’s attorneys, Priya Chaudhry, claimed that prosecutors intended on calling 14 witnesses over the course of six days. She also said Majors’s team plans on putting on a defense case.

The judge ruled that the press would be barred from a proceeding this afternoon where the admissibility of some evidence would be discussed and agreed that paperwork on the issue should remain under seal. Over a media attorney’s objections, Gaffney ruled, “The court has considered the extensive press coverage of this case and believes that the press would report on this evidence whether or not it’s admitted at trial.” Majors, sporting a double-breasted gray suit, was accompanied in court by his girlfriend, Meagan Good. He carried a cup, per usual, along with a Bible and a small notebook.

What are the allegations against Majors?

On March 25, 2023, Jabbari and Majors took a car to Brooklyn from their shared Manhattan home. While the couple was in the car, prosecutors said, Jabbari saw a message on Majors’s phone that effectively read, “Wish I was kissing you right now.” Jabbari grabbed the phone from Majors to see who had sent it. Majors began grabbing her right side and “prying Ms. Jabbari’s right middle finger off the phone, causing bruising, swelling, and substantial pain,” prosecutors charged. He then grabbed Jabbari’s arm and right hand and started to twist her forearm, causing her extreme pain, prosecutors said. “The defendant then struck Ms. Jabbari’s right ear, causing a laceration to the back of her ear and substantial pain,” prosecutors added in court filings. After allegedly hitting Jabbari, Majors took his phone and got out of the cab. Jabbari tried to leave the car, but Majors “grabbed her, picked her up, and threw her back inside,” prosecutors said. According to a court filing, Jabbari endured “substantial pain, including a fractured finger, bruising about her body, a laceration behind her right ear, and a bump on her head.” Police arrested Majors later that evening, and at his arraignment the next day, he was charged with misdemeanor-assault and harassment counts.

What kind of evidence is there against Majors?

In a court filing, prosecutors revealed they had interviewed 11 witnesses, sourced surveillance video from nine locations, had photos of Jabbari’s alleged injuries, and acquired medical records from the U.S. and the U.K. In a particularly interesting twist, prosecutors said their evidence included “a police report prepared by the London Metropolitan Police.” Prosecutors also said in a filing that they were trying to seek records “from London related to an incident that occurred in September 2022.” There weren’t any additional details on the police report or incident; however, Variety noted that Majors was in London during this time while filming season two of Loki for Disney+.

What’s the deal with Majors’s complaint against Jabbari?

Majors filed a cross-complaint with police against Jabbari claiming she had attacked him, and police informed prosecutors on June 21 that he had done so. Prosecutors said they had followed the normal procedures in delayed domestic-violence cross-complaints: They told police to carry out a complete investigation before activating what’s called an I-Card, which is essentially the green light for an arrest. Prosecutors insisted they hadn’t told anyone in the NYPD to issue or cancel an I-Card and said in a court filing that police didn’t tell them an I-Card had been activated until a few months later. On September 8 and 12, prosecutors told the NYPD they would not pursue any charges against Jabbari brought by police related to Majors’s delayed allegations.

Despite this, police decided to continue with action against Jabbari. She surrendered on October 25 and was issued a desk-appearance ticket to appear in court related to the May incident, per CNN. The case didn’t go anywhere because prosecutors had already said they wouldn’t pursue a case against her. “The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has officially declined to prosecute the case against Grace Jabbari because it lacks prosecutorial merit. The matter is now closed and sealed,” the DA’s press office said in an October 26 statement. Following these developments, Jabbari’s attorney, Ross Kramer, told the AP the NYPD’s decision was “unfortunate and re-traumatizing.”

What has Majors said about the case?

Majors’s attorney, Priya Chaudhry, did not respond to Vulture’s recent request for comment. Her March 25 statement, however, pretty much sums up what he has maintained all along: “Jonathan Majors is completely innocent and is provably the victim of an altercation with a woman he knows. We are quickly gathering and presenting evidence to the District Attorney with the expectation that all charges will be dropped imminently.” However, Chaudhry made subsequent comments indicating that the case might get nasty. She called the proceedings a “witch hunt” that was “saturated with explicit and implicit bias” against her client and intimated that it was about race. She claimed prosecutors “have willfully withheld evidence” that would prove Majors’s “white accuser is lying.”

What Is Jonathan Majors’s Domestic-Violence Trial About?