NATIONAL NEWS

Actor Jonathan Majors avoids jail time, sentenced to counseling for assaulting ex-girlfriend

Apr 8, 2024, 4:22 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Jonathan Majors has been ordered to complete a year-long counseling program but avoided jail time Monday for assaulting his ex-girlfriend in a high-profile case that derailed the once-promising star’s career.

The 34-year-old star of “Creed III” and other films had faced up to a year behind bars after he was convicted of misdemeanor assault by a Manhattan jury in December.

Judge Michael Gaffey sentenced Majors to conditional discharge after noting that both sides in the case agreed the charges did not warrant jail time.

He said Majors must complete a 52-week, in-person batterer’s intervention program in Los Angeles, where the actor lives. He also has to continue with the mental health therapy his lawyers say he’s been participating in. Majors faces a year in jail if found in violation of the terms, which also included a no contact order with his former girlfriend, Grace Jabbari.

Majors, dressed in all black and accompanied by his girlfriend, actor Meagan Good, declined to address the court and left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.

His lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, said the actor did not want to make any public statement that Jabbari could use against him in the civil suit she’s filed against the actor.

Majors, she added, is “committed to growing as a person” and will complete the court-mandated programs “with an open heart” even as he maintains his innocence and plans to appeal.

“He’s lost his whole career,” Chaudhry said in court. “This has been the most challenging year of his life.”

But Jabbari, fighting back tears as she addressed the court, said Majors refuses to acknowledge his guilt and remains a danger to those around him.

“He’s not sorry. He has not accepted responsibility, ” she said. “He will do this again and he will hurt other women. He believes he is above the law.”

Jabbari said Majors had made her believe the two were in a loving relationship, but, in reality, he isolated her from the rest of the world and cut her off from family and friends.

“I was so emotionally dependent on him,” she said. “I became a different person around him — small, scared and vulnerable.”

Following the December guilty verdict, Majors was immediately dropped by Marvel Studios, which had cast him as Kang the Conqueror, a role envisioned as the main villain in the entertainment empire’s movies and television shows for years to come.

The conviction stemmed from an altercation last March in which Majors’ then-girlfriend Grace Jabbari accused him of attacking her in the backseat of a chauffeured car, saying he hit her head with his open hand, twisted her arm behind her back and squeezed her middle finger until it fractured.

Majors claimed the 31-year-old British dancer was the aggressor, flying into a jealous rage after reading a text message from another woman on his phone. He maintained he was only trying to regain his phone and get away from Jabbari safely.

Majors had hoped his two-week criminal trial would vindicate him and restore his status in Hollywood. In a television interview shortly after his conviction, he said he deserves a second chance.

But the 34-year-old California native and Yale University graduate still faces other legal hurdles.

Last month, Jabbari filed a civil suit in Manhattan federal court, accusing the actor of assault, battery, defamation and inflicting emotional distress.

She claims Majors subjected her to escalating incidents of physical and verbal abuse during their relationship, which lasted from 2021 to 2023. Majors’ lawyers have declined to respond to the claims, saying only that they are preparing to file counterclaims against Jabbari.

The actor had his breakthrough role in 2019’s “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.” He also starred in the HBO horror series “Lovecraft Country,” which earned him an Emmy nomination, and as the nemesis to fictional boxing champ Adonis Creed in the blockbuster “Creed III.”

As for Marvel, a looming question remains whether the studio will recast the role of Kang or pivot in a new direction.

Majors’ departure was among a recent series of high-profile setbacks for the vaunted superhero factory, which has earned an unprecedented $30 billion worldwide from 33 films.

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Follow Philip Marcelo at twitter.com/philmarcelo

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Actor Jonathan Majors avoids jail time, sentenced to counseling for assaulting ex-girlfriend