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News / Nation & World

Actor Jonathan Majors sentenced to probation, avoiding jail time for assaulting ex-girlfriend

By PHILIP MARCELO, Associated Press
Published: April 8, 2024, 7:20am

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Jonathan Majors was sentenced to probation and 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 also ordered Majors to complete an in-person batterer’s intervention program. He also has to continue with his mental health therapy.

Following the 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.

During a victim impact statement Monday, Jabbari said the incident left her with extreme emotional and physical pain.

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.

After the sentencing, Majors did not comment as he left the courtroom.

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.

“As he eagerly anticipates closing this chapter, he looks forward to redirecting his time and energy fully toward his family and his art,” Majors’ lawyers said in a statement last week after losing their bid to have the conviction tossed out.

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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