UPDATED, 11:33 AM: (Updated further with DA statement) Jonathan Majors must wait until April to find out whether or not he is going to jail for his domestic violence convictions.
After a delayed and brief hearing that just endedTuesday, Judge Michael Gaffey told his Manhattan courtroom that the Creed III star will be back April 8 to learn his fate. While prosecutors and Majors’ defense team were in court in person, Majors appeared virtually for the five-minute session.
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Majors was arrested last spring in New York after a chauffeured car ride with his then-girlfriend Grace Jabbari turned into a violent argument that spilled into the street.
Convicted of reckless assault and harassment by a jury on December 18, Majors faces a sentence that could range from probation to a year behind bars as a first-time offender in a misdemeanor case.
The long-scheduled sentencing was initially supposed to occur this morning in NYC, but that went out the window as the defense filed a not-unexpected motion to set aside the verdict. The District Attorney’s office has until March 5 to response to the motion to set aside the verdict. With zero April Fool’s Day irony, Gaffey said he intends to make a ruling on the defense motion by April 1.
“The Court has already heard and rejected the arguments supporting this motion when the defense originally raised them during the trial,” a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said after the hearing. “The jury then convicted Mr. Majors of Assault in the 3rd Degree and Harassment in the 2nd Degree. We will respond in detail in court papers.”
Kept out of the public sphere, today’s long shot motion under New York State statutes follows an earlier filing in late January by Majors’ lawyers to permanently seal information about the actor’s life and relationship history. Most of those details are already under seal by Judge Gaffey’s orders, but some of the material such as texts and other communication about another incident in the UK in 2022 was unsealed during last year’s trial after the judge thought the defendant’s lead attorney Priya Chaudhry crossed the line herself in questioning Jabbari.
For today’s hearing, Majors — who was out of state, according to his lawyer — appeared on a flat-screen TV at the back of the courtroom, wearing a clay-colored crew neck sweater over a white T-shirt.
The actor responded to two brief procedural questions from Gaffey with “Yes, sir,” while his two lawyers and the prosecutors sat in the well. The judge adjourned the case and told Majors, “I want to remind you that the protection order is in effect,” referring to the order forbidding contact with Jabbari.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:52 AM: Found guilty on domestic violence charges late last year, Jonathan Majors will not be sentenced Tuesday as originally scheduled.
Convicted of reckless assault and harassment in his trial in December, Majors’ sentencing was initially to occur early this morning in New York City. That plan shifted first thing as lead defense lawyer Priya Chaudhry opted to file various motions with the court, court officials told Deadline. Set to address those motions, the hearing will now take place around 2:15 p.m. ET/11:15 a.m. PT.
Originally, Majors was supposed to be in the Manhattan courtroom; his appearance today will now be virtual.
Once sentencing actually occurs, which could be later this month, the former Marvel actor is looking at anything from probation to a year behind bars as a first-time offender in a misdemeanor case.
A jury convicted Majors in December of reckless assault and harassment for his actions last spring during a chauffeured car ride in Manhattan with his then-girlfriend Grace Jabbari that turned into a violent argument.
Along with the trial verdict, the consequences of that night for Majors professionally have been dramatic.
The Lovecraft Country Emmy nominee’s career was spiraling even before the jury spoke: Roles for Majors disappeared in the weeks and months after his arrest on domestic violence charges, high-profile ad campaigns featuring him were shelved, and he was quickly dropped by his management and publicity firms.
Last fall, Disney pulled Magazine Dreams from its movie release schedule despite early Oscar buzz for Majors’ starring performance as an aspiring bodybuilder. Hours after the verdict in December, Disney fired Majors outright from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor was due to return to the sprawling superhero franchise as villain Kang the Conqueror in various already announced future Avengers films. Majors had previously played Kang in in both seasons of Loki and in last year’s movie Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Majors’ talent agency WME still represents him. In fact, his agent, Elan Ruspoli, testified for Majors at the trial.
Before and during that trial, Majors’ main defense lawyer Chaudhry portrayed Jabbari as a jilted, revenge-seeking “liar” who wasn’t too injured to go partying with strangers after the altercation. The six-person jury rejected that narrative and sided with prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office who said the violence was real, and a culmination of a pattern of manipulation and abuse.
Afterwards, Majors told Linsey Davis of ABC News Live in January that the guilty verdict left him “shocked and afraid.” While the actor described the couple’s relationship as troubled in the odd sit-down interview, he denied ever hitting her or any woman. “I was reckless with her heart, not with her body,” Majors said.
That’s what Majors said, but during the trial, jurors saw texts between the couple about an incident in London, six months before the actor’s NYC arrest, in which the couple argued about a hospital visit. “I will tell the doctor I bumped my head if I go,” Jabbari wrote of a plan to get a prescription for painkillers. Majors replied that going to the hospital would “lead to an investigation even if you do lie and they suspect something.”
Majors and Jabbari, a dancer from Britain, met in London in 2021 on the Ant-Man set, where Jabbari was hired as a movement coach. Jabbari testified that Majors could be “really loving and sweet,” but had an explosive temper.
Jurors also heard audio of Majors castigating Jabbari for coming home “drunk” from a night out with friends in London in 2022. In audio that Jabbari recorded secretly, Majors called himself “a great man” in need of a “great woman” such as Coretta Scott King or Michelle Obama.
During their car ride through Lower Manhattan after midnight on March 25, Jabbari spotted a text from another woman on the Creed III actor’s phone and grabbed the device.
Jabbari testified that Majors responded with force, twisting her arm and prying her hand back violently enough to fracture a finger, and then struck her in the head. The fight spilled on to the street at a stoplight, where Majors forcefully lifted Jabbari back into the car, “manhandling her … as if she was a doll,” a prosecutor said — a scene jurors watched on security camera footage.
Jurors also saw footage of Majors running away from the scene, with Jabbari appearing to give chase, and later footage of Jabbari at a nightclub with a group of strangers she met on the street. One of the group testified that Jabbari sat at a table applying ice to her finger.
The panel acquitted Majors of two other misdemeanor charges, aggravated or intentional assault and harassment. Majors told ABC News Live that he hopes to someday find work again in Hollywood.
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