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Actor Jonathan Majors in court for start of assault trial

Actors Jonathan Majors arrives at court where jury selection in his trial for assault is expected to begin (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)
Actors Jonathan Majors arrives at court where jury selection in his trial for assault is expected to begin (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

The actor Jonathan Majors appeared in court in New York on Wednesday where jury selection is expected to begin in a trial where he is accused of injuring his then-girlfriend during an argument last spring.

The trial could play a big role in what happens next with Majors, who had emerged as a breakout star with major roles in films, including Creed III, and who was being set up as the next great supervillain in the Marvel multiverse.

The 34-year-old actor entered a Manhattan courtroom alongside his current girlfriend, the actress Meagan Good, carrying a Bible and his signature coffee cup. He did not speak during the start of the proceeding.

Jonathan Majors Assault Case
The star is accused of injuring his former girlfriend during an argument last spring (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

Majors was arrested in March over a confrontation between the actor and Grace Jabbari, his girlfriend at the time, during a car ride in Manhattan.

Prosecutors said Jabbari had grabbed a phone out of the actor’s hand after seeing a text saying “Wish I was kissing you right now”.

Majors tried to snatch the phone back.

Jabbari said Majors pulled her finger, twisted her arm behind her back and hit her face. After the couple’s driver stopped the car and the pair got out, Jabbari said Majors threw her back into the vehicle.

Police said Jabbari was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Majors’ lawyers have maintained that Jabbari was the aggressor during the fight and had scratched and hit him.

Jabbari was arrested by New York City police last month after Majors filed a cross-complaint against her, but the district attorney’s office dropped all charges against her.

The 95th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Jonathan Majors starred alongside Michael B Jordan in the blockbuster film Creed III (Doug Peters/PA)

Majors, 34, is charged with misdemeanours including assault and could be sentenced to up to a year in jail if convicted.

Before jury selection could begin Wednesday, attorneys for Majors successfully sought to ban the public and press from the courtroom in order to discuss evidence in the case that has not been made public.

Lawyer Seth Zuckerman warned the evidence could “taint the jury pool beyond repair for Mr Majors”, adding that his client may face “trial by newspaper”.

Judge Michael Gaffey agreed, finding that the evidence was likely to be “inflammatory” and could taint a jury pool if it were reported in the media.

The Manhattan District Attorney did not take a position on the matter.

No Time To Die Royal World Premiere – London
Lawyers for Jonathan Majors have argued for evidence in the case to be sealed over fears the actor will face ‘trial by newspaper’ (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Katherine Bolger, a lawyer hired to represent the press, opposed the move to seal evidence, noting that the public had a right to know the evidence in the case.

Majors starred in the Marvel TV series Loki and the film Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, and was awaiting the release of another star vehicle, Magazine Dreams, which is now in limbo.

He is known for carrying a coffee cup on the red carpet and to media interviews, one of four he rotates through, as a symbol of his mother’s long-ago advice: “Don’t let anyone fill up your cup”.