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Jonathan Majors sued by ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari for assault, battery, defamation

Actor Jonathan Majors attending the London premiere of his film <em>Creed III</em> in Feb. 2023, before his career imploded due to a series of abuse allegations and a court conviction in New York.
Jeff Spicer
Getty Images for Warner Bros.
Actor Jonathan Majors attending the London premiere of his film Creed III in Feb. 2023, before his career imploded due to a series of abuse allegations and a court conviction in New York.

Editorial note: this report mentions suicide. If you or someone you know may be considering suicide or is in crisis, call or text9 8 8 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Actor Jonathan Majors has been sued by his ex-girlfriend, Grace Jabbari, in a newly filed lawuit in which she alleges that he committed assault, battery and defamation against her in a series of episodes that took place between 2021 and 2023. In December, Majors was found guilty in a New York criminal court of assaulting and harassing Jabbari during one of those episodes during an argument that took place in Manhattan in March 2023.

Jabbari's civil lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in the Southern District of New York. In addition to the New York incident that led to Majors' conviction, Jabbari alleges that he was physically violent towards her during incidents in Los Angeles and London as well.

In London in September 2022, Jabbari claims, Majors "started hitting Grace's head against [a] marble floor while strangling her until she felt she could no longer breathe," but allegedly talked her out of seeking medical treatment, despite her head injury. Afterwards, the suit says, Jabbari told Majors in a text exchange that she had "brain fog" and "a constant ringing headache," but that he threatened to kill himself if she sought out a doctor.

In the current suit, Jabbari asserts that Majors has also "resorted to very publicly abusing her reputation" in the wake of his arrest and following his criminal trial, including calling her "a liar at every turn ... with the goal of convincing the world that Grace is not a victim of domestic abuse but instead a crazy liar who should be treated as such."

In a brief statement emailed to NPR Wednesday, Majors' lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, said that Jabbari's suit was "no surprise" and that her client "is preparing counterclaims against Ms. Jabbari."

In the domestic violence trial held in New York in December, Majors was found guilty of two misdemeanor counts — assault in the third degree and harassment in the second degree — against Jabbari. In the split verdict, the jury found Majors not guilty of intentional assault in the third degree or aggravated harassment in the second degree, signaling that they did not believe that Majors had intended to hurt or harass Jabbari before their argument. Majors is expected to be sentenced on April 8.

Within hours of the December verdict, Marvel and Disney announced that they were dropping Majors from the Marvel Cinematic Universe [MCU] franchise. Earlier, Marvel had planned to feature the then-rocketing Hollywood star at the center of an upcoming MCU film.

In an article published by The New York Times in February, two other ex-girlfriends of Majors, Emma Duncan (to whom Majors was engaged between 2015 and 2019) and Maura Hooper, also made accusations against the actor. Both women alleged that Majors had been controlling and emotionally abusive, while Duncan also accused him of physical violence. Through Chaudhry, Majors denied both womens' accusations, and Chaudhry described those relationships as "toxic."

Last June, Rolling Stone published allegations of physical, mental and emotional abuse by Majors against two romantic partners while he was a student at Yale University's David Geffen School of Drama beginning in 2013. Through his attorney at the time, Dustin A. Pusch, Majors "vehemently denied" all those accusations.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.

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