Jonathan Majors could be imprisoned for up to a year if found guilty of a charge unveiled this morning in his domestic violence case. At the same time, the actor’s attorney today slammed proceedings as a by-product of “the racial bias that permeates the criminal justice system.”
Tuesday’s swift status conference at the Manhattan criminal court building comes six weeks after the Magazine Dreams star was arrested by the NYPD for domestic violence.
Appearing virtually for the hearing the Creed III actor saw the Manhattan District Attorney’s office make public a superseding complaint with a charge of third degree assault. The class A misdemeanor has a maximum possible sentence of 12 months behind bars or a three- year probation term.
Barely visible to the gallery on screens facing away from the seats, Majors did not enter a plea to the new charge. Dressed in a beige shirt and against a pale off-white background on-screen, Majors had little to say Tuesday beyond “Yes ma’am” to Judge Rachel S. Pauley.
The next hearing in the matter has been set for June 13. The judge told Major he has to appear in person for that.
Additionally, Judge Pauley reminded the conferenced in Majors that he must abide by the order of protection barring him from any contact with the woman in question. “I’m required to inform you that, as you know, if you fail to appear in court on June 13, a warrant can be issued for your arrest within 48 hours and if you’re brought back on the warrant, the next judge can revoke and even set bail. I obviously don’t want that to happen.”
Outside of court, Majors lawyer Priya Chaudhry was blistering in her assessment of the of the D.A.’s case.
“We have provided the District Attorney with irrefutable evidence that the woman is lying, including video proof showing nothing happened, especially not where she claimed,” the lawyer said. “We did this with the explicit promise from the DA that they would not “fix” their case and change it as we proved the woman is lying.”
“This is a witch hunt against Jonathan Majors, driven by baseless claims,” Chaudhry went on to say, citing a “glaring double standard” in a statement to Deadline. “Instead of dismissing the allegations in the face of the woman’s clear lies, the DA has adjusted the charges to match the woman’s new lies. To be clear, there are no new charges against Mr. Majors.”
Without providing any details, she added:
Now, we have obtained even more video evidence of his innocence, but we are hesitant to share it, for fear the DA will tip the woman off to change her story again.
The criminal justice system is saturated with explicit and implicit bias. When Mr. Majors showed a white police officer the injuries the woman caused him, the white officer got in Mr. Majors’ face and taunted him, saying that if the officer were to slap Mr. Majors, the officer wouldn’t break his finger. None of the white officers present investigated the assault of Mr. Majors. Worse, the District Attorney has not indicated any intention to pursue charges against the woman, or even investigate the truth.
In the time between his arrest on March 25 and today, Majors’ previously high-flying career trajectory has been in a tailspin.
While still on board for the completed Season 2 of Marvel’s Loki and upcoming Avengers movie so far, the actor has been dropped by managers 360 Entertainment and PR team the Lede Company (as Deadline exclusively reported). Major has lost at least one movie role, as well as at least two ad campaigns. Still represented by WME, the actor has faced rumors of other incidents and inappropriate behavior, but no one nor any concrete evidence has emerged on that front.
What is on the public record is a complaint from the D.A’s office on Majors on March 25 striking the woman “about the face with an open hand, causing substantial pain and a laceration behind her ear.” In what the NYPD later called a “domestic dispute,” Majors allegedly forcefully took the woman’s hand “causing swelling, bruising, and substantial pain to her finger,” and supposedly “put his hand on her neck.”
In the superseding information submitted today, the D.A’s paperwork also said: “I further observed the defendant push me back into the vehicle using both of his hands causing me to fall backwards.”
Citing text messages and security camera footage from the end of March, Majors’ lawyer Chaudhry has repeatedly reiterated her client’s not guilty plea and insisted that he is the victim here, not the aggressor. It has been confirmed by law enforcement that it was Majors who called 911 the night of the incident.
Late last month, Majors’ team agreed to a full temporary order of protection being granted for the woman in question from the March 25 incident. “This is standard in cases such as this, and we consented because Mr. Majors wants nothing to do with the woman who assaulted him,” Chaudhry told Deadline on April 27. The lawyer has also criticized the NYPD officers on the scene that night at Majors apartment of “coaching” the alleged victim “to accuse Mr. Majors of assault, even pantomiming what she should say.”
Whether that comes up in the motion the defense filed today, to be discussed at next month’s hearing, remains to be seen.