The prosecution and defense have both rested their arguments in Jonathan Majors‘ alleged assault trial on Thursday morning. The jury will begin deliberating this afternoon.
Majors faces four charges of intentional assault in the third degree, reckless assault in the third degree, aggravated harassment in the second degree and harassment in the second degree. Grace Jabbari, Majors’ ex-girlfriend, has accused the actor of assaulting her in the backseat of a private car on March 25 after she learned about Majors’ alleged infidelity. In her testimony, she said that she took Majors’ phone to read a text message from another woman and he forcefully retrieved it. Jabbari said this caused bruising, swelling and “excruciating” pain in her right middle finger. The two briefly exited the car, where Jabbari alleged that Majors struck her on the back of her head and attempted to push her back into the vehicle, which Jabbari claims resulted in a cut behind her right ear.
Kelli Galloway, the Manhattan assistant district attorney representing Jabbari, claimed in her closing argument that Jabbari was the victim of intimate domestic violence in her relationship with Majors. Jabbari had said that she and Majors were planning to get married and was “devastated” by his infidelity. She also showed previous text messages between the couple where Majors had threatened suicide over a disagreement and dissuaded Jabbari from going to a hospital to treat a head wound.
“What this really boils down to is four simple words: control, domination, manipulation and abuse,” Galloway said. “The tactics used by those who commit domestic violence against partners, against Grace.”
Citing the text messages, Galloway said that Majors exerted control over Jabbari and forced her to comply to his demands in the relationship.
“When [Majors] acted like that previously, he said to not tell anyone or else it’d ruin their relationship,” Galloway said. “[Jabbari] withdrew from family and friends because it felt like she was lying to them. She didn’t take care of herself, was reliant on [Majors]. He would blame her for making him upset.”
In the defense’s argument, Majors’ lawyer Priya Chaudhry claimed Jabbari has been telling “white lies, big lies and pretty little lies” and couldn’t remember how she sustained her injuries because she had been drinking.
“Grace bends reality,” Chaudhry said in her closing arguments. “It’s hard to keep your story straight when you’re making it up as you go.”
She said that NYPD officers arrested Majors because he’s a Black man and were biased in believing Jabbari, a white woman, as she told her account of her injuries.
Jabbari said when she went back to the apartment she shared with Majors, she took two sleeping pills because she couldn’t fall asleep due to her pain. In the morning, she woke up on the floor of a walk-in closet and was unsure how she got there. When Majors arrived at the apartment, he couldn’t get into the room that Jabbari was in and needed the help of a handyman. He called 911 thinking that Jabbari had overdosed or committed suicide. NYPD officers responded to the call and documented Jabbari’s injuries as she explained what had happened with Majors the night before. The officers determined a domestic incident had occurred and arrested Majors.
“His fear of what happens when a Black man in America calls 911 came true. And now we’re here,” Chaudhry said. “We’re here because police made up their minds on sight.” Majors, who has appeared in court every day, reached for tissues and began wiping his eyes at that point.
“You are here to end this nightmare for Jonathan Majors,” Chaudhry said while choking up. “Jonathan Majors is innocent.” When she finished her closing argument, she and Majors hugged at their desk.
In her closing argument, Galloway said that Jabbari was honest in her testimony, did not have any reason to lie and was not out for revenge against Majors: “This is not a revenge plot to ruin the defendant’s life or his career.”
The defense claimed that Jabbari did not suffer any injuries in the car with Majors and that she was the aggressor in the argument. Chaudhry argued that Jabbari was drunk after going to a club after the incident with Majors and caused the injuries to her finger and ear when she returned to their apartment and fell in the closet.
After the incident with Majors, Jabbari was left on the street and met three strangers in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and told them what had happened. They consoled her and then invited her to a party at Loosie’s Nightclub. While at the party, Jabbari said she didn’t notice how much pain she was in, and later she iced her finger. One of the people she met on the street, Chloe Zoller, testified that she gave her ice from a drink bucket on their table, and did not notice any other injuries on Jabbari.
“If you believe [Jabbari], then her head is throbbing from a sharp blow to back of her head, and instead of going home she goes to a loud, crowded dance club with strangers, strobe lights and laughs the whole time,” Chaudhry said. She added that photos and video from the club did not show bruises on Jabbari’s finger. Galloway countered, based on testimony from an independent medical expert, that bruising to a finger would not be seen for hours and that Jabbari could still have a full range of motion.
“[Jabbari] said in coming days there was bruising,” Galloway said. “Have you ran into a table? You don’t get bruised right away. The evidence is consistent to a blow [Majors] made to her head and ear.” She added that the medical expert testified “there wouldn’t be bleeding to every laceration behind the ear. It would depend on capillaries and blood vessels. Everyone clots blood differently. We know blood congealed to her hair when [Jabbari] woke up.”
This year, Majors starred in the boxing drama “Creed III” and Marvel’s “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” as villain Kang the Conqueror. He also led the bodybuilding drama “Magazine Dreams,” but it was removed from Disney’s release calendar amid the SAG-AFTRA strike and Majors’ trial. He is slated to reprise his Kang role in Marvel’s upcoming movie “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty,” but the trial has cast doubt over the plans.
From Variety US