Actor Jonathan Majors convicted of assault, dropped from Marvel films

December 20, 2023 - 9:14 AM
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Actor Jonathan Majors arrives with Meagan Good for the jury selection in his assault and harassment case at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, U.S., December 18, 2023. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

 Actor Jonathan Majors, a rising Hollywood star who had been set to play the leading role in an upcoming Marvel superhero film, was found guilty by a New York jury on Monday on charges he attacked his ex-girlfriend in the back of a car.

Shortly after the verdict, a spokesperson for Walt Disney- owned DIS.N Marvel said the studio had dropped the actor from future projects. Majors portrayed a villain known as Kang the Conqueror in this year’s “Ant-Man” movie and was scheduled to play the lead role in 2026 release “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.”

Majors had been charged with two counts of assault and two counts of harassment, all misdemeanors.

The jury of six convicted him on one count of assault and one count of harassment, and acquitted him of the other charges.

The verdict followed a two-week trial in state court in Manhattan.

Majors, dressed in a gray suit, stood and faced the jury as the foreperson read the verdict. He pursed his lips and cast his face down when the first conviction was read but otherwise showed little reaction.

Majors is set to be sentenced on Feb. 6. He faces up to a year in prison, but prosecutors have not indicated what sentence they plan to seek.

His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office hailed the verdict in a statement, saying the evidence showed a “cycle of psychological and emotional abuse, and escalating patterns of coercion” by Majors.

Prosecutors said Majors assaulted his then-girlfriend Grace Jabbari in a hired car in Manhattan in March, leaving her with a broken finger and swollen arm and ear.

Jabbari said over four days of testimony that Majors attacked her after she grabbed his phone upon seeing a text from another woman. She also described his “violent temper” and other incidents where he “exploded” in anger.

“She had shaped herself around the defendant, to cater to his personality, to avoid him being angry with her,” prosecutor Kelli Galaway said during closing arguments on Thursday.

Majors‘ lawyer sought to flip the script, claiming it was Jabbari who victimized Majors by attacking him in the car and then falsely accusing him of assault after he broke up with her.

“You are here to end this nightmare for Jonathan Majors,” lawyer Priya Chaudhry said through tears during her closing argument.

Majors filed his own complaint against Jabbari, prompting her arrest on assault charges in October. But the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office later closed the case because it “lacks prosecutorial merit.”

Majors, 34, starred in the 2019 film “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” before landing top billing in “Creed III” and appearing in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”

Majors was dropped by his management company, public relations firm and several advertisers after his arrest.

— Reporting by Jack Queen in New York; Additional reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Mark Porter, Noeleen Walder and Rosalba O’Brien