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By Ian Youngs
Entertainment & arts reporter
A New York jury will soon decide if Marvel and Creed III star Jonathan Majors is guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
Grace Jabbari testified that Mr Majors, who plays Kang the Conqueror in the Marvel films, left her in “substantial” pain after an altercation in March.
The actor’s lawyer dismissed this as “lies” in Thursday’s closing arguments.
Mr Majors could face up to a year in jail if convicted of four misdemeanour assault and harassment charges.
A guilty verdict would also have implications for his Hollywood career, which includes major roles in two forthcoming Marvel films.
The incident began when the couple were in a car in New York in March and Ms Jabbari saw a text message from another woman on Mr Majors’ phone, which said: “Wish I was kissing you right now.”
According to prosecutors, when the 30-year-old British choreographer took the phone, he then grabbed her, twisted her arm behind her back and hit her in the head to get it back.
She said she was left with a fractured finger, bruising, a cut behind her ear and “excruciating” pain.
Grace Jabbari, seen during 2021’s London Fashion Week, was a movement coach on Ant-Man and the Wasp
In their closing argument, prosecutors described how the actor “struck a blow” to his partner’s head that left her stunned, the Associated Press reported.
The prosecution also painted the assault as the latest escalation in Mr Majors’ attempts to “exert control” over his girlfriend through physical and emotional violence.
Mr Majors, 34, did not testify. His lawyer has claimed the actor was the victim, however, and that Ms Jabbari assaulted him in a jealous rage after seeing the text message in the car.
‘Making it up’
The actor’s attorney Priya Chaudhry has maintained that prosecutors were trying to convict an innocent man based on Ms Jabbari’s false assertions.
Ms Chaudhry noted that Ms Jabbari went to a nightclub after the incident and was seen in video footage using her supposedly injured finger.
“It’s hard to keep your story straight when you’re making it up as you go,” Ms Chaudhry told the jury in her closing statement, the New York Times reported.
Jonathan Majors’ films include Marvel’s Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
Mr Majors stayed in a hotel on the night in question but returned to the couple’s apartment the following morning and found Ms Jabbari unconscious on the floor.
He says he called police out of concern that she had attempted suicide – and his lawyer told the court that his “fear of what happens when a black man in America calls 911 came true”.
His ex-girlfriend testified that she took two sleeping pills that night because of the pain.
Ms Jabbari had met Mr Majors two years earlier on the set of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, where she was a movement coach.
After his arrest, Marvel pushed back the release of Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, in which Mr Majors is due to play the lead villain.
Another film, Magazine Dreams, which had been touted as a possible Oscar contender, also had its release postponed following the allegations.
SOURCE: BBC NEWS