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Actor Jonathan Majors in court for assault trial in New York

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NEW YORK — Actor Jonathan Majors appeared in New York court Wednesday for the scheduled start of jury selection in a trial in which he is accused of injuring his then-girlfriend during an argument at last spring.

The trial could end up playing a big role in what happens next with Majors, who had become a star with major roles in films including “Creed III” and was becoming the multiverse’s next big supervillain Marvel.

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

Majors was arrested in March following a confrontation between the actor and Grace Jabbari, his then-girlfriend, during a car ride in Manhattan.

Prosecutors said Jabbari grabbed a phone from the actor after seeing a text message, presumably from another woman, saying “I wish I’d kissed you right now.” Majors tried to get the phone back.

Jabbari said the actor pulled his finger, twisted his arm behind his back and punched his face. After the couple’s driver stopped the car and the two men got out, Jabbari said Majors threw her back into the vehicle. Police said Jabbari was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Majors’ lawyers argued that Jabbari was the aggressor during the fight and that he scratched and punched him. They claimed Wednesday that police who responded to the scene failed to question Majors and that Manhattan prosecutors refused to review evidence showing he was the victim.

Jabbari was also briefly arrested by the New York Police Department last month after Majors filed a complaint against her, but the district attorney’s office dropped all charges against her the next day.

On Wednesday, Judge Michael Gaffey called Jabbari’s brief arrest “highly unusual,” suggesting that Majors’ celebrity may have played a role in police’s decision to charge his accuser three months after the incident.

“Did this happen just because of the high profile nature of the case? Gaffey asked the court. “If this was an indigent New Yorker, would this arrest have happened? »

Majors is charged with crimes, including assault, and could face up to a year in prison if convicted.

Before jury selection could begin Wednesday, Majors’ attorneys successfully blocked the public and press from the courtroom to discuss evidence in the case that has not been made public . The lawyer, Seth Zuckerman, warned that the evidence could “irreparably taint the jury for Mr. Majors,” adding that his client could be “tried by a newspaper.”

Gaffey agreed, saying the evidence was likely “inflammatory” and could taint the jury if reported in the media.

The Manhattan District Attorney has not taken a position on the issue. An attorney hired to represent the press, Katherine Bolger, opposed the decision to seal the evidence, emphasizing that the public had a right to know the evidence in the case.

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

He is known for carrying a coffee cup on the red carpet and during media interviews, one of four he performs, as a symbol of his mother’s longtime advice: “Don’t let anyone fill your cup “.

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USA News Gb2

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