Jonathan Majors’s ex-girlfriend testified Tuesday that he regularly screamed at her and once hurled household items at her hard enough to dent the wall near where she stood.
The woman, Grace Jabbari, described more than half a dozen episodes that began in December 2021, months into her relationship with Mr. Majors, an actor who had been expected to anchor future Marvel movies. Ms. Jabbari gave her account in Manhattan criminal court on Tuesday as the trial against Mr. Majors entered its second day of testimony.
Mr. Majors “just exploded,” she said, describing the incident in July 2022 when he threw items at her in a fury.
Prosecutors said during their opening statement this week that Mr. Majors had been abusive throughout his relationship with Ms. Jabbari and had manipulated and threatened her, culminating in an assault in the early hours of March 25 as the pair were riding home in a hired car. Mr. Majors was arrested and charged by the Manhattan district attorney’s office with several misdemeanors for assault and harassment.
But Mr. Majors’s lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, argued that her client had been the victim in the altercation, emerging from the car scratched and bloody. The accusations against Mr. Majors were an act of revenge by Ms. Jabbari because he had ended their relationship, Ms. Chaudhry said.
On Tuesday, Ms. Jabbari smiled as she entered the courtroom. She was engaged with the jury as she spoke, and laughed nervously as a prosecutor, Kelli Galaway, asked her questions at the outset of her testimony.
But as she described how Mr. Majors had been upset with her for not being communicative while she was at a music festival, she asked for a tissue. She cried throughout the rest of her testimony, at one point leaving the courtroom for several minutes to collect herself.
Mr. Majors looked down impassively for most of her testimony, occasionally glancing at the witness stand and once snapping his eyes toward the ceiling in a sudden reaction to her words.
Ms. Jabbari said that when she and Mr. Majors began dating in 2021, he was loving. But as their relationship progressed, Ms. Jabbari said, she felt “isolated” and increasingly frightened.
“It was confusing because I felt scared of him, but quite dependent on him,” she said. A year in, Ms. Jabbari said, she feared Mr. Majors “physically quite a lot.”
“I felt on edge,” she told the jurors. “Just worried that I could do something that could put him into this angry state.”
In September 2022, Ms. Jabbari said, she had a friend visit the couple’s home in London. Mr. Majors, who had returned from a day of filming and finished a workout with his trainer at home, was not in the mood for company. His anger lasted days, she said, with him confronting her when they ran into each other outside, pulling her headphones from her ears and stepping on them — and ordering her to move out.
In a recording she made days later, which was played in court Tuesday, Mr. Majors accused her of being drunk and “disturbing the peace of our house.” Invoking Michelle Obama and Coretta Scott King, the wife of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Majors told her that he needed a partner who would support him as they had supported their husbands.
“I’m a great man. A great man. I am doing great things,” he said, adding: “The woman that supports me, the one I support, needs to be a great woman and make sacrifices.”
Days later, Mr. Majors texted her and threatened to kill himself, she said, and told her that he had “put actions in place to do so.”
Misdemeanor charges rarely go to trial, because a vast majority of defendants plead guilty to avoid risking a harsher sentence. But Mr. Majors is struggling to salvage his reputation.
Mr. Majors, who received an Emmy nomination for his role in the series “Lovecraft Country,” was on a fast rise toward A-list stardom as the center of planned superhero films. The charges have placed his career on hold.
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