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By Max Matza
Emmy-nominated actor Jonathan Majors has been dropped by Marvel Studios after he was convicted of assaulting his then-girlfriend.
On Monday, a jury in New York found that Majors, 34, attacked and harassed British choreographer Grace Jabbari during an argument in March.
Following the verdict, a Marvel spokesperson said the studio would no longer work with the actor.
Majors could face up to a year in prison when sentenced in February.
It marks a stunning downfall for a leading Hollywood actor who had been expected to feature in multiple Marvel films.
Majors played villain Kang the Conqueror in the Marvel films. He starred in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania last February and on Disney+ series Loki, now in its second season.
Marvel had already pushed back release dates for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, in which he was due to play the starring role. He was set to perform again as the character in the follow-up film, Avengers: Secret Wars.
It is unclear whether Marvel Studios plans to replace him with another actor or write his character out of the films.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel has already hired the creator of Loki to re-work a draft of the film that had been expected to be called The Kang Dynasty. The new working title for the movie is Avengers 5, sources told the outlet.
Magazine Dreams, an upcoming film starring Majors that was being touted as a possible Oscar contender, had its release postponed as well following his arrest.
The US Army also dropped the Creed III star from a major advertising campaign once the news broke.
His former girlfriend, Ms Jabbari, was left with a fractured finger, bruising and a cut behind her ear after the couple fought over a phone in a hire car in New York City.Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the assault The incident took place when Ms Jabbari saw a text message from another woman on Majors’ phone, which said: “Wish I was kissing you right now.”
In an effort to get his phone back, the film star grabbed his then-girlfriend, twisted her arm behind her back and hit her in the head, Ms Jabbari testified.
He was found guilty of assault by recklessly causing physical injury, as well as harassment.
The jury acquitted him on charges of aggravated harassment and assault with intent to cause physical harm, however.
The prosecution painted the assault as the latest escalation in Majors’ attempts to “exert control” over his girlfriend through physical and emotional violence. The jury was shown voice recordings and text messages between the former couple.
“I’m a monster. A horrible man. Not capable of love,” the actor sent in a text in September 2022 while threatening to kill himself.
In audio from an argument that same month, Majors told Ms Jabbari she needed to act more like Coretta Scott King and Michelle Obama, the wives of Martin Luther King and former President Barack Obama.
“I am doing great things, not just for me but for my culture and the world,” he said, adding that she would need to “make sacrifices” for him.
Ms Jabbari’s lawyer Brittany Henderson said her client had shown “irrefutable strength and poise while being forced to relive, both in court and very publicly, the abuse she was subjected to”.
“Her unwavering resolve to see this case through to the end is borne out of a desire to show other survivors and victims of domestic violence, that they too, can hold their abuser accountable,” she said in a statement given to the PA news agency.
A statement shared by Majors’ lawyer after the actor’s conviction said that he continues to believe in his innocence, “still has faith in the process and looks forward to fully clearing his name”.
Sentencing will be on 6 February. The judge also issued a new protection order, requiring him to have no contact with Ms Jabbari.
SOURCE: BBC NEWS