The ex-girlfriend of Marvel actor Jonathan Majors testified Tuesday that he manipulated her by threatening to kill himself and that she endured two years of verbal abuse before he allegedly assaulted her last March in the back seat of a hired car.
Taking the stand for the first time in New York County Criminal Court, Grace Jabbari testified she was “scared” of Majors but also feared he would hurt himself if she left him.
Majors, Jabbari told the court, would send her ominous texts “after he’d be angry at me.”
“Things are in motion,” Majors would text, Jabbari testified. “I had to constantly look after him, I’d worry because I did not want that to happen.”
Majors is charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment in connection with a March 25 incident that erupted, according to Manhattan prosecutors, after Jabbari spotted a text on the actor’s phone from another woman named Cleopatra.
“Wish I was kissing you,” the text message read, Jabbari told the court on Tuesday.
In their opening statement on Monday, prosecutors said Majors slapped Jabbari in the face and fractured the middle finger on one of her hands. And when Jabbari got out of the car, Majors threw her back inside “like a football,” they said.
Majors, 34, has denied striking Jabbari and his lawyers contend he was the victim of a jilted lover who left him bloodied and who went club-hopping with three strangers after the alleged abusive encounter.
Wearing a dark suit, Majors sat quietly Tuesday with a gilded Bible and a thick binder placed on the table in front of him as Jabbari testified, sometimes tearfully. His current girlfriend, actress Meagan Good, was also in the courtroom.
Jabbari, who was dressed in a pantsuit, recounted how they met in 2021 on the set of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” and how, at first, their relationship was “kind and loving.” She said they talked about starting a family.
The 30-year-old British dancer said they divided their time between homes in New York City, Los Angeles and London before settling in March in a penthouse apartment in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
Jabbari said that during their relationship she was constantly “on edge” because of the actor’s mercurial moods and that their arguments were sometimes punctuated by the actor breaking objects in their home.
At one point, prosecutors played an audio recording that Jabbari made during an argument with Majors.
Jabbari said that, as time went on, she began to feel increasingly isolated.
“I had low self-esteem, I lost a lot of weight,” she told the court. “I felt really dependent on him because he was the only one who knew what went on. I still did try to see my friends and family but I felt like I was lying to them. I felt isolated.”
On the day of the alleged assault, Jabbari said that after “a really nice morning” they decided to catch a play in the evening. But in the elevator, Jabbari said Majors suddenly told her to button up her blouse.
That’s when Majors’ mood “shifted,” Jabbari said.
They each had two drinks at the play, Jabbari said. Then afterward, while dining at a restaurant in Brooklyn, Majors took her to task for confiding in a friend that he’d been abusive, Jabbari testified.
“He kept saying, ‘I’m going to kill myself, this time I’m going to do it,’” Jabbari told the court.
But it was on the ride back to Manhattan that the situation deteriorated, after she saw the text message on Majors’ phone, Jabbari tesified.
“I was so taken aback,” she testified.
Majors kept saying, “Baby baby, it’s not what it seems,” Jabbari said.
“Let me see the messages,” Jabbari said she told Majors before grabbing his phone.
Within seconds, Majors was on top of her trying to “pry the phone out of my fingers,” she said.
Jabbari told the court she was able to escape the SUV. Her account appeared to be backed up by video footage that prosecutors showed the six-man, six-woman jury — and which appeared to capture Majors emerging from the vehicle and pushing Jabbari back inside.
Later, the footage appeared to show both Majors and Jabbari out on the street before Majors took off running with his girlfriend chasing after him.
“I was really heartbroken and sad,” Jabbari told the court.
Jabbari is expected to be cross-examined by Majors’ lawyers on Wednesday. In her opening statement, the actor’s attorney Priya Chaudhry, painted Jabbari as a jilted lover who sought to derail her partner’s career as revenge.
Chaudhry has also suggested that the fact that Majors is Black and Jabbari is white is the reason he — and not she — was arrested after the alleged altercation.
It was not immediately clear whether Majors would take the stand in his defense. But he’s already paid a price careerwise.
The star of “Creed III” and the critically acclaimed 2019 independent film “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” Majors’ rapid rise to superstardom was stalled in March after the allegations emerged.
Since then, some of Majors’ work has been pulled or postponed, including the highly anticipated release of the Sundance award-winning film “Magazine Dreams.” He is also starring in the upcoming Marvel film, “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.”
If convicted, Majors could be sentenced to up to a year in jail.