Related video: Jonathan Majors court date
Marvel star Jonathan Majors was supported in court by girlfriend Meagan Good as his long-awaited assault trial began in New York City.
Mr Majors is accused of attacking his former girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, inside a car in the city on 25 March as they rode to his apartment. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.
Ms Jabbari has accused him of slapping her, throwing her into the car after she exited it, twisting her arm and grabbing and injuring her hand. Prosecutors say that she was treated at a hospital for minor injuries to her head and neck, which included a cut to her ear.
His lawyer, Priya Chaudhry has labelled the alleged victim “a liar”, and in June Mr Majors filed a complaint against her alleging she attacked him and accused him of texting another woman.
Ms Jabbari was taken into custody by New York City Police Department officials in October. However, the Manhattan District Attorney ultimately decided not to pursue a case against the woman. Still, Judge Michael Gaffey ruled that Mr Majors’ attorneys could bring up the arrest during the trial.
Mr Majors faces up to one year in prison if found guilty.
Jury selection started at 10am EST on Thursday, with the panel being selected from 40 people sworn in on Wednesday.
Who is Grace Jabbari?
Grace Jabbari, the woman who has accused Jonathan Majors of assault, is a 30-year-old British dancer and movement coach.
She has appeared as a dancer in Barbie, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, A Christmas Carol, and Coldplay’s Cry Cry Cry music video, among other projects.
She’s undertaken a couple of Marvel films as a movement coach, including Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Ms Jabarri and Mr Majors reportedly met on the set of the Wasp.
She originally hails from Reading, England, a city about 36 miles from London. She graduated with a first class bachelor’s degree from Rambert School and obtained another first class master’s degree from Northern School of Contemporary Dance, according to her biography on her dance company’s website.
She’s performed for artists Florence and The Machine, Damien Rice, and Naeem fka Spank Rock.
She has accused Mr Majors of hitting her in the face, twisting her finger and grabbing her neck. His attorney has denied the allegations.
Michelle Del Rey30 November 2023 19:06
Meagan Good and Jonathan Majors spotted walking out of courtroom
Jonathan Majors and his girlfriend, actress Meagan Good, were spotted walking out of a Manhattan courthouse together on Thursday afternoon.
The court has adjourned for a lunch break. No jurors have been selected yet and Mr Majors did not make a comment about the allegations while exiting the building.
Michelle Del Rey30 November 2023 18:21
Opening statements to begin on Monday
Opening statements in the Jonathan Majors trial are set to begin on Monday, Judge Michael Gaffey announced during proceedings on Thursday.
Court watchers previously expected opening statements to start on Thursday.
Meanwhile, jury selection continues.
One potential juror, an actor who works on a TV show, said he has “serious problems” with anyone who commits violence against women, according to the New York Post.
“You do with that information what you will,” he said, before stating that he would be fair during the trial.
Michelle Del Rey30 November 2023 18:08
Prospective jurors sent out to answer questionnaires
Judge Michael Gaffey sent jurors out of the courtroom to answer questionnaires as part of the selection process. They were later brought back in to answer a series of follow up questions.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Majors appears to be taking diligent notes during the jury selection process, Vulture reports.
Michelle Del Rey30 November 2023 17:40
Judge expected to choose six jurors and two alternates
The group of 40 prospective jurors is expected to be widdled down to six individuals and two alternates. Jury selection is currently underway in a Manhattan courtroom, according to the New York Post.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.
Michelle Del Rey30 November 2023 17:12
Judge asks jurors if they could put Grace Jabbari footage aside
According to Victoria Bekiempis, a reporter for Vulture, prospective members of the jury were asked by Judge Michael Gaffey if they would be able to put aside footage of Grace Jabbari dancing at a club after the alleged assault and only consider evidence presented.
Some of them responded that they could not.
The remarks came after the judge asked the panelists if they were familiar with the case. Several members of the group said yes in response.
Michelle Del Rey30 November 2023 16:55
Jury selection underway
Prospective jurors entered the courtroom on Thursday around 11.00am. There were initially 40 candidates for the jury pool, according to online reports.
A few panelists raised their hands and said they knew of the actor when Jonathan Majors bowed in their direction, according to Emily Palmer, a reporter for People.
Judge Michael Gaffey was heard asking the prospective jurors if they had any medical issues that would prevent them from serving on a jury for two weeks.
Prosecutors from the Manhattan DA’s office previously said they needed at least six days to present their case.
Michelle Del Rey30 November 2023 16:31
Attorneys not to refer to Grace Jabbari as “the victim”
Attorneys in the case are not allowed to refer to Grace Jabbari as “the victim” during the trial, according to CBS News. She can however be referred to as “the victim of X action”.
On Thursday, Judge Michael Gaffey decided that the defence could bring up Ms Jabbari’s prior arrest during the trial, according to a Vulture reporter inside the courtroom.
Ms Jabbari was taken into custody in October after Jonathan Majors filed a cross-complaint against her in June, claiming that she assaulted him. The New York City Police Department authorised her arrest, but the Mahattan District Attorney’s Office ultimately decided not to pursue a case against her.
Michelle Del Rey30 November 2023 16:11
Courtroom reopened to press following ruling on evidentiary issue
The courtroom has opened back up to the press following a ruling on an evidentiary issue. Judge Gaffey did not provide details on the ruling, according to Victoria Bekiempis, a reporter covering the trial for Vulture.
Mr Majors appeared to be smiling and one of his attorneys looked pleased with the decision. The actor’s bible was spotted on the defense table.
Michelle Del Rey30 November 2023 15:59
Courtroom to close while judge issues ruling on evidentiary evidence
Judge Michael Gaffey has stated that he will be closing the courtroom while issuing a ruling on evidentiary evidence out of fear of tainting the jury pool, according to Victoria Bekiempis, a reporter covering the trial for Vulture.
Mr Major’s attorneys requested on Wednesday that the courtroom be closed while the judge issues the ruling, arguing that releasing the information to the public via the press could deny Mr Majors of a fair trial.
Judge Gaffey agreed, stating he would issue a ruling on what was discussed during the closed hearing on Thursday, CBS News reported. As a result, the press will not be allowed into the courtroom while those discussions take place.
Still, it’s not clear if that ruling will be made public.
Evidence deemed permissible will be made public once introduced at trial, the outlet reported.
Michelle Del Rey30 November 2023 15:40