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Jonathan Majors Sued By Ex-Girlfriend Grace Jabbari for Defamation, Assault and Battery

Fallout from a New York jury’s conviction of Jonathan Majors for misdemeanor reckless assault and harassment has erupted in a lawsuit against the actor from ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari, who claims that she alerted Majors’ management team of abuse in 2021.

Jabbari, in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in New York federal court, brings claims for battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, malicious prosecution and defamation, which arises from Majors denying that he abused the professional dancer and movement coach leading up to and after his conviction. She accuses Majors of subjecting her to a “pattern of pervasive domestic abuse that began in 2021 and extended through 2023,” detailing several instances of alleged physical violence.

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In a statement, Priya Chaudhry, a lawyer for the actor, said, “This is no surprise. Mr. Majors is preparing counterclaims against Ms. Jabbari.”

Jabbari, who met Majors in 2021 on the set of Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania, claims that the alleged abuse escalated to assault in 2022 when Majors “attacked” her, “causing serious injuries to her body.”

According to the suit, on Sept. 20, 2022, after an earlier largely verbal fight, Majors “pushed Grace so hard that it bruised her backside,” “picked Grace up in the air and threw her against the hood of her car” and “brought Grace back into their house and held his hands around her neck, stating that he wanted to kill her, and that he was going to kill her. Majors then started hitting Grace’s head against the marble  floor while strangling her until she felt she could no longer breathe.”

Jabbari says she later wanted to seek medical treatment for this incident, but alleges she was dissuaded by Majors, who said via text, “They will ask you questions, and as I don’t think you actually protect us, it could lead to an investigation even if you do lie and they suspect something.”

The texts about the alleged incident came up as part of Majors’ criminal trial (though any alleged incident preceding it was not discussed). Jurors were instructed to view this and past instances of alleged abuse as background information, rather than evidence of propensity to commit a crime. While many of the incidents in the civil suit were alluded to by Jabbari as part of the criminal trial, she was largely only able to speak to the alleged emotional abuse surrounding them, rather than any claims of physical violence.

Tuesday’s suit sheds light on some of the alleged physical abuse, which escalated in August 2022 when the pair moved in together in London.

“In September 2022, Majors again became upset and began verbally assaulting Grace while chasing her around the home,” states the complaint. “When he was finally able to corner her on the bed, Majors raised his fist over her as she cowered, protecting her face with her hands. On this occasion, Majors did not physically strike Grace; he obtained control over himself and left the property as Grace locked herself in a bedroom for safety.”

In January 2023, Jabbari disclosed the abuse to Majors’ management team, which allegedly responded by relaying the message to the actor. According to the complaint, Majors was “furious at Grace for betraying him and telling a member of his team that he had physically assaulted her.”

In the new suit, Jabbari echoes comments made during the criminal trial about Majors behavior after the alleged incidents. “Majors would threaten suicide in response to Grace’s attempts to understand why Majors became physically violent with her in the aftermath and to manipulate Grace away from going to the hospital or reporting the violence to authorities,” the suit reads.

After his arrest, Majors embarked media tour intended to undermine the jury verdict. He claimed he was “completely innocent,” is “probably the victim,” that he “did not assault her whatsoever,” and that “this woman was having an emotional crisis, for which she was taken to a hospital,” according to the complaint. In an exclusive interview with ABC News, he said Jabbari lied about being abused and that he “never laid [his] hands on a woman.”

Jabbari alleges that the statements, including in his interview with Good Morning America after the sentencing, constitute defamation. The suit states, “Majors’s intention was not only to cause many people to believe Jabbari was a liar but also to cause those people to lash out, harass, intimidate, and bully Jabbari. Majors also intended his defamatory statements to adversely affect Jabbari’s career.”

Additionally, the suit brings a claim for malicious prosecution over Majors urging prosecutors to initiate proceedings and arrest Jabbari after he filed a criminal complaint against her, despite being told that prosecutors would decline to pursue the case. The suit calls this a “truly desperate attempt to discredit his victim before trial.”

“Consistent with his pattern of intimidating Grace, Majors filed the knowingly false criminal complaint and immediately disseminated the news to national and international media outlets in an effort to use his fame to cause the public to lash out against Grace and inflict on Grace extreme emotional distress,” states the complaint.

Jabbari also details verbal abuse soon after she entered a relationship with Majors. In 2021, for example, the actor allegedly verbally attacked and admonished her for mentioning a prior relationship, the suit claims.

“In June 2022, Majors continued to exhibit controlling behavior while Grace was out of town and unable to comply with his demands,” writes Brittany Henderson, a lawyer for Jabbari, in the suit, which seeks at least $75,000, plus punitive damages. “The trip ended with Majors requiring Grace to promise that she would never go anywhere again where she was not available for him to reach her at all times. And so began a lengthy pattern of Defendant Majors’s domestic violence and abusive behavior toward Grace.”

The filing of the complaint follows the criminal court case against Majors, in which he was convicted in December of reckless assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, and harassment in the second degree, which is a violation. These charges were brought by the state of New York, not by Jabbari.

That case was related to an incident on March 25, 2023 between Majors and Jabbari, when she was still dating the actor. During the trial, Jabbari testified that while the two were riding in a car, she saw a text on his phone suggesting he was cheating on her and grabbed it from him. She said the actor then injured her, including prying her finger from the phone and striking her head as he tried to take the phone away from her and later threw her back into the car.

Majors was scheduled to be sentenced in the criminal case on Feb. 6, but the hearing was delayed until April 8 as the prosecution and the judge on the case respond to the defense’s motion to set aside the verdict. The charges carry a potential sentence of up to one year in prison.

After the conviction, Marvel Studios dropped Majors, who had played a central role in their franchise as Kang the Conquerer. As he awaits sentencing, Majors was spotted Saturday at the NAACP Awards alongside his current partner, actress Meagan Good.

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