Jonathan Majors says he was ‘shocked’ when assault case verdict was handed down
NEW YORK (AP)— In his first interview since his assault and harassment conviction last month, actor Jonathan Majors said he was shocked by the New York jury’s verdict.
“I was absolutely shocked and afraid,” Majors said in the interview that aired Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I’m standing there and the verdict comes down. I say, ‘How is that possible based off the evidence, based off the prosecution’s evidence, let alone our evidence? How is that possible?'”
A Manhattan jury found the 34-year-old emerging Hollywood star guilty of one misdemeanor assault charge and one harassment violation for a March altercation with his then-girlfriend Grace Jabbari. He faces the possibility of up to a year in jail for the assault conviction at his sentencing set for February 6, though probation or other non-jail sentences also are possible. Majors was acquitted of a different assault charge and of aggravated harassment.
Just hours after the verdict, Marvel Studios and the Walt Disney Co. dropped him from all upcoming projects, according to a person close to the studio who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to speak publicly on the matter.
The dispute between Majors and Jabbari began in the backseat of a chauffeured car and spilled into the streets of Manhattan. Jabbari, a 30-year-old British dancer, accused Majors of hitting her in the head with his open hand, twisting her arm behind her back and squeezing her middle finger until it fractured.
“That did not happen,” Majors said in the GMA interview. Asked how Jabbari was injured, Majors responded, “I wish to God I knew. That would give clarity. That would give me some type of peace about it.”
Majors’ lawyers alleged at trial that Jabbari flew into a jealous rage after reading a text message — from another woman — on his phone. They said Jabbari had spread a “fantasy” to take down the actor, who was only trying to regain his phone and get away safely.
In the interview, Majors described his injuries as a scratch on his hand and one on his cheek that bled overnight. Surveillance video shows Majors running off with Jabbari chasing him.
“If you watch those videos and you reverse that and you saw a Black man chasing a young white girl down the street screaming and crying, that man is going to be shot and killed in the streets of New York City,” Majors said.
Separate surveillance video shows Majors lifting Jabbari into an SUV.
Majors said he was speaking because he “felt like it was time.”
“A lot has happened in my personal life, in my career, and the culture,” he said. “It’s about responsibility and coming forward and being brave and giving my part of the story.”
In a statement to ABC News, Brittany Henderson, an attorney for Jabbari, said it isn’t surprising that Majors “continues to take no accountability for his actions” and the timing “demonstrates a clear lack of remorse for his actions.”