Closing arguments concluded Thursday in Jonathan Majors’ misdemeanor assault trial in New York, after 10 days filled with shocking allegations, disturbing evidence and tears on both sides.
Majors, a rising Hollywood star who plays supervillain Kang the Conqueror in big-budget Marvel films, stood accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari in a hotel room in early 2022. After the prosecution and defense made their final pleas to the jury, the case moved to deliberations as the movie industry watches closely.
Prosecution Argues Pattern of Abuse
In her closing statement, Assistant District Attorney Rae Downes painted Majors as an entitled narcissist who regularly abused Jabbari during their year-long relationship.
“He picked her up like she was a doll. He called her names, he put his hands on her time and again,” Downes declared. “This is a case about power, and this is a case about violence.”
The prosecution asserted that on the night of the alleged assault in March 2022, Majors flew into a jealous rage at the CitizenM Hotel and violently pinned Jabbari to the bed when she tried to break up with him. Downes said this incident matched Majors’ pattern of turbulence and intimidation toward the accuser.
Defense Says Accuser Lied About Everything
Meanwhile, defense lawyer Tanya Helfand asserted the allegations formed “a woven tale of lies” by a woman seeking fame and retribution. Citing Jabbari’s inconsistent accounts and Majors passing a lie detector test, Helfand stated “the evidence proves that Ms. Jabbari fabricated this entire incident.”
Further attempting to undermine the accuser’s credibility and claims of injury, the defense introduced surveillance footage allegedly showing Jabbari chasing after Majors’ car following the supposed attack. “Why is this woman running after her abuser, carrying his luggage?” Helfand posited.
Disturbing Evidence Could Sway Jury
The jury must weigh this she-said-he-said case relying heavily on their instincts. While no photo or video directly confirms violence occurred, the trial introduced various forms of potential proof.
Text Messages and Voice Recording
Days before the incident, Majors allegedly sent Jabbari distressing text messages including:
- “F— life. I should just kill myself”
- “Sadly it might take me harming myself to show you I’m serious.”
In a separate expletive-laden recording, Majors purportedly berates Jabbari, saying “For one year I dealt with your lies. I am a great man.”
Luxury Car Chase Video
Surveillance video shown in court depicts Jabbari sprinting after Majors’ Mercedes SUV as he pulls away, carrying some of his luggage. The defense claimed she was chasing Majors, while the accuser said she needed her passport to travel.
Photos of Injuries
Photos of scrapes and bruises on Jabbari’s extremities were presented as evidence of assault. However, the defense contested this by noting no photos show injuries to her face or torso.
Both Majors and Jabbari broke down on the stand during intense cross-examinations over their past trauma and recounting the alleged events. Majors’ colleague Meagan Good also cried while defending his reputation. These raw emotions could elicit sympathy from jurors.
Past Police Intervention
During a 2021 argument, Majors allegedly charged at Jabbari, prompting her sister to call 911. Responding officers found no physical violence occurred, but suggested Majors leave to defuse tensions. The uncharged incident echoes abuse claims.
What Happens Next?
The jury will attempt to make sense of the conflicting accounts, absent hard proof like an injury photograph. They could render a verdict as soon as Thursday, or prolong deliberations through the weekend.
If convicted on assault and harassment charges, Majors faces up to a year in jail. Alternatively, he could revive his soaring Hollywood career with Marvel and other major studios if fully exonerated.
Majors is next slated to star as boxing icon Muhammad Ali. Regardless of the trial’s outcome, producers now face thorny questions over whether to stand behind or drop the rising A-lister.
The verdict will carry career implications for Jabbari as well. The aspiring singer-songwriter remains a virtual unknown, but earned significant publicity from this case.
Hollywood and Activists Watch Closely
As the #MeToo movement continues reshaping the entertainment industry following Harvey Weinstein’s watershed conviction, advocates monitor cases like this closely.
The trial occurring amid palpable cultural shifts around domestic violence and gender dynamics. Supporters organized protests outside the courthouse, while online factions resembling Depp-Heard followers emerged.
A guilty verdict would bolster efforts to combat intimate partner abuse and cancel those perpetrating it. But activists worry an acquittal could further silence victims fearing disbelief.
The optics and consequences also differ from the sensational Depp-Heard trial given the male accuser is Black while the female defendant is white. Race cannot be ignored regarding presumed innocence, likelihood of conviction and public perception.
For now, Hollywood continues internal reckonings around power imbalances as a rising A-List personality stands trial over domestic turmoil. The Jonathan Majors legal saga seems far from over, but the jury soon will determine this pivotal chapter’s end.
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