Shocking allegations were made during the opening statements of Jonathan Majors' assault trial on Monday.
In a lower Manhattan courtroom, Majors, who held a Bible in his hand, was joined by his current girlfriend, actress Meagan Good. In her opening statement, Majors' attorney Priya Chaudhry claimed that the actor's ex Grace Jabbari accused him of domestic violence and harassment because he ended their relationship, also alleging racism as the reason for Majors' arrest on March 25. The Creed III star is African-American, and Jabbari is a white British woman.
After Chaudhry's claims of Jabbari being out for revenge, assistant district attorney Michael Perez accused Majors, 34, of showing a "cruel and manipulative pattern of psychological abuse" towards his ex-girlfriend, per Business Insider. A surprising turn came when Perez said that Majors “demanded total compliance” from Jabbari, and allegedly wanted her to act similarly to late civil rights activist and author Coretta Scott King or Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama by "making sacrifices for him."
Perez went on to paint Majors as having a "cruel and manipulative pattern of psychological abuse" towards Jabbari during their two-year relationship, saying that if his needs weren't met, the actor would become angry, shouting at Jabbari or throwing household objects at her, per the Associated Press. Similar claims were made in a Rolling Stone exposé from June, where Majors' former classmates at Yale University, as well as film set employees, said the actor had a violent streak.
The behavior allegedly went over the edge before Majors was arrested on March 25 after a domestic dispute with Jabbari. Prosecutors accuse Majors of launching into an attack around midnight in the back of a Cadillac Escalade after Jabbari discovered flirtatious text messages on his phone from a woman named Cleopatra. It's alleged that Majors broke Jabbari's middle finger, twisted her right forearm, and struck her ear, which became bloodied. The two were returning to Major's Chelsea triplex apartment from dinner at Walter's in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
According to Chaudhry, After Majors' allegedly fled the scene when the vehicle pulled over, Jabbari chased him "on foot, through traffic, like in a movie.” When she couldn't find him, Chaudhry claims that Jabbari spent a few hours at a Manhattan nightclub with three strangers she had met that evening.
The prosecution said otherwise, claiming that Majors roughed up Jabbari inside the vehicle multiple times before it was pulled over. Jabbari, in turn, allegedly accepted an invitation to the club from bystanders as an attempt to “temporarily block out” the incident before returning home, taking two sleeping pills, and falling asleep on the bathroom floor.
Majors called the authorities for a wellness check on Jabbari, who woke up with police officers standing over her. Along with being hospitalized with minor injuries, Jabbari was hesitant to report the abuse because Majors had "trained her to stay silent,” according to Perez. After telling police about the alleged assault, which Jabbari briefly recanted in alleged text messages sent to Majors, the actor was arrested.
Since his arrest, Majors has been dropped from multiple acting projects, his management and PR Team, and a campaign for the U.S. Army. The theatrical release date of his drama film, Magazine Dreams, was also removed from the Searchlight Pictures schedule due to his arrest and in response to the SAG-AFTRA strikes.
“Mr. Majors’ lifetime of hard work was coming to fruition and his career seemed unstoppable until […] he ended his relationship with Jabbari and she made these false allegations,” Chaudhry said in her opening statements, per Variety. “[This is] a man who spent 30 years working hard to get to where he was on March 25. A man with the world at his fingertips.”
The trial is expected to last up to two weeks. Majors, who has pleaded not guilty, faces charges of misdemeanor assault, aggravated harassment, and harassment, while a strangulation charge has been dropped. If convicted, he faces up to a year in prison.