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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Gloria Oladipo

Jonathan Majors trial begins for assault charges over alleged domestic dispute

Actor Jonathan Majors appears on assault and harassment charges in New York state supreme court in New York City, 20 June.
Actor Jonathan Majors appears on assault and harassment charges in New York state supreme court in New York City, 20 June. Photograph: Reuters

The trial of the actor Jonathan Majors for assault and harassment against a former girlfriend following an alleged domestic dispute kicked off on Wednesday.

Jury selection began in the morning for the highly publicized case, according to Deadline, with Majors appearing in the courtroom. The 34-year-old actor, known for his role in the Creed movie franchise, Lovecraft Country and several current and forthcoming Marvel projects, faces several assault and harassment misdemeanours. He has pled not guilty to all counts; if found guilty, he faces up to a year in prison.

The case stems from a March incident between Majors and his then girlfriend, Grace Jabbari.

He is accused of slapping Jabbari across the face, twisting her arm behind her back, and throwing her into a vehicle on 25 March as the couple drove to Majors’ apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood, ABC News reported.

The next day, Jabbari was treated at a hospital for a minor head injury following the incident and sustained a cut to her ear, bruises and a broken finger.

Majors was arrested on 26 March and released later that same day. A judge then granted a temporary order of protection that prohibited Majors from contacting Jabbari, CNN reported.

In June, Majors filed a countersuit against Jabbari, alleging that he was the one assaulted, but prosecutors declined to charge her after she responded to Majors’ claim in October. The actor’s legal team has claimed that Jabbari assaulted Majors after seeing a text message from another woman, and that Majors did not physically retaliate, the New York Times reported. They also claim Jabbari went clubbing following the alleged assault, later appearing at Majors’ home with injuries and threatening to harm herself, prompting Majors to call 911.

Several Marvel projects involving Majors – who starred as a villain in the Loki series – have been postponed or cancelled following the allegations. Marvel has postponed the release of two movies in the Avengers series that were set to include Majors, The Kang Dynasty, and Secret Wars, BBC reported. It has also reconsidered spinoff series and movie sequels that were set to feature him.

Prosecutors at the trial will likely include witness testimony from several of Majors’ ex-girlfriends. Jabbari is expected to testify as well, though it is unclear if Majors will.

The judge is expected to weigh requests from media outlets to unseal documents that could have information on previous incidents involving Majors, Deadline also reported, citing sources familiar with the case.

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