Jonathan Majors' ex describes "substantial" pain caused by actor as defense questions her drinking
Jonathan Majors, left, returns to court after a lunch break in his domestic assault trial, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Jake Offenhartz, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2023 5:56PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 6, 2023 10:23PM EST
NEW YORK (AP) - Jonathan Majors' former girlfriend testified Wednesday about the “substantial” pain she suffered after he allegedly assaulted her in the backseat of a cab this spring, as photos of the woman's injuries were shared with a Manhattan jury for the first time.
In her second day on the witness stand, Grace Jabbari wiped away tears as she recounted the alleged attack by Majors that left her hair caked with blood, her ear swollen, and middle finger “more or less black.”
“When I was trying to sleep, I was very aware that I couldn't lie on the right side of my head,” she said. “It was an everything hurts situation.”
Jabbari, a 30-year-old British choreographer, documented her bruised finger and reddened ear in text messages she sent to a friend, which were presented in the courtroom on Wednesday. Majors sat stoically throughout the proceeding, looking at Jabbari at times, but appeared to avert his gaze from the photos.
The actor was arrested last March following a dispute with his girlfriend in the backseat of a chauffeured car that began when Jabbari read a “romantic” text message sent to Majors' by another woman. After Jabbari snatched his phone, Majors allegedly grabbed her finger, twisted her arm behind her back, and struck her hard on the back of the head in an effort to wrestle away the device.
Once the driver pulled over and the couple exited the vehicle, Majors picked her up and threw her back in the car, Jabbari testified, slamming her head on the doorframe of the SUV.
Majors has pleaded not guilty to the charges of assault and harassment. His attorney has claimed that Jabbari was the instigator, telling a jury on Wednesday that he emerged from the car scratched and bloodied.
The arrest has upended Majors' fast-rising career, throwing his future as a lynchpin of the Marvel multiverse - he was set to reprise his role as the supervillain Kang the Conqueror in two upcoming Avengers films - into doubt. The release of “Magazine Dreams,” in which Majors earned critical accolades for his role as an aspiring body-builder, was also postponed from its scheduled opening this week.
Jabbari said that Majors became “full of rage and aggression” while training for the part last summer, at times throwing objects at the wall during their frequent arguments. She said she was conditioned to accept fault in order to ease his “violent temper” during their relationship.
On Wednesday, Jabbari described taking a similar approach in the aftermath of the alleged assault.
“I wanted him to know that I wasn't trying to get him in trouble,” Jabbari said. “In the past, when I would put the blame on me it was a solution for the both of us.”
She also worried about Majors' treatment at the hands of cops, telling a jury that “he had told me in the past about not trusting the police and what they would do to him as a Black man, and I didn't want to put him in that situation,”
An attorney for Majors, Priya Chaudhry, has implied that Majors' race may have factored into his arrest and prosecution.
In her cross-examination on Wednesday, Chaudhry sought to paint Jabbari as a bitter lover who used alcohol to cope with stress, suggesting that she may have blacked out key details about the night of the alleged assault.
In response to the attorney's questioning, Jabbari said that she had several drinks with Majors prior to the dispute. When Majors fled the scene with his phone following the backseat confrontation, Jabbari approached a group of bystanders for help, who she said “welcomed” and invited her to a night club.
She acknowledged taking shots of tequila with the strangers before eventually going home and vomiting in the bathroom. She called Majors several times before falling asleep.
“I was exhausted, lying on the bed feeling the pain in my body but really desperate to speak to him,” Jabbari said. “It's confusing when the person you love betrays you in that way. I was just heartbroken.”
Her cross-examination is set to resume on Thursday.