Jonathan Majors arrested on assault charges after 'domestic dispute': What we know so far
Jonathan Majors is facing fallout after his weekend arrest for an alleged domestic dispute. His attorney maintains his innocence, saying he was the one who called 911 because of the unidentified woman's "mental condition," and released a screenshot of text messages the woman purportedly sent Majors after his arrest.
Details of the arrest and arraignment
The 33-year-old Creed III and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania actor, who's seen as a rising star in Hollywood, was arrested Saturday in New York City on charges of strangulation, assault and harassment. It stemmed from a domestic dispute with a 30-year-old woman in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. A 911 call was placed from an apartment at around 11 a.m.
"The victim informed police she was assaulted," a spokesperson for the NYPD said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press. "Officers placed the 33-year-old male into custody without incident. The victim sustained minor injuries to her head and neck and was removed to an area hospital in stable condition." Majors's relationship with the woman was described only as "domestic."
The California native was arraigned on a complaint that included misdemeanor charges for assault and aggravated harassment, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office told the outlet. In the complaint, the accuser claimed the defendant did "strike her about the face with an open hand, causing substantial pain and a laceration behind her ear." She also accused him of putting "his hand on her neck, causing bruising and substantial pain." The judge granted a limited order of protection. Majors was released on his own recognizance.
Majors's lawyer says he's "entirely innocent"
A spokesperson for Majors said in a statement to the AP on Saturday, "He has done nothing wrong. We look forward to clearing his name and clearing this up."
The following day, his attorney Priya Chaudhry from Chaudhry Law doubled down on his innocence, saying in a statement obtained by the Hollywood Reporter that there is evidence he's "entirely innocent and did not assault her whatsoever. We are quickly gathering and presenting evidence to the District Attorney with the expectation that all charges will be dropped imminently."
Chaudhry, who also represents Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's Jen Shah in her fraud case, blamed the incident on the woman having "an emotional crisis," according to the AP. She claimed there's evidence clearing Majors that includes "video footage from the vehicle where this episode took place, witness testimony from the driver and others who both saw and heard the episode, and most importantly, two written statements from the woman recanting these allegations."
On Thursday, five days after the incident, Chaudhry issued a new statement obtained by Yahoo Entertainment, saying, Majors "completely denies assaulting the woman." She claims Majors was the one who called 911 "out of concern for the woman’s mental health" on Saturday. "The police arrived with the paramedics, as is standard procedure, and arrested Mr. Majors due to an NYPD protocol requiring arrest in certain circumstances. On that same day, only 7 and 9 hours later, the woman sent text messages to Mr. Majors admitting that she was the one who used physical force against him. She also disavowed any allegations that he had done anything to her and confirmed that Mr. Majors called 911 because of her mental condition. These are those messages, redacting the woman’s name for her privacy."
In the messages, which Yahoo can't authenticate, it says, "Please let me know you're okay when you get this. They assured me that you won't be charged. They said they had to arrest you as protocol when they saw the injuries on me and they knew we had a fight. I'm so angry that they did. And I'm sorry you're in this position. Will make sure nothing happens about this."
It also said, "I told them it was my fault for trying to grab your phone. I only just got out of hospital. I love you." A few hours later, another message said, "They just called again to check on me and I reiterated how this was not an attack and they do not have my blessing on any charges being placed. I read the paper they gave me about strangulation and I said point blank this did not occur and should be removed immediately. The judge is definitely going to be told this. I know you have the best team and there's nothing to worry about I just want you to know that I'm doing all I can on my end. I also said to tell the judge to know that the origin of the call was to do with me collapsing and passing out and your worry as my partner due to our communication prior. Out of care. She promised all will be relayed."
The day after his arrest, the U.S. Army pulled its TV ad campaign featuring Majors. The goal of the campaign was to revive Army recruitment numbers.
"The U.S. Army is aware of the arrest of Jonathan Majors and we are deeply concerned by the allegations surrounding his arrest," Army Enterprise Marketing Office public affairs chief Laura DeFrancisco said in a statement. "While Mr. Majors is innocent until proven guilty, prudence dictates that we pull our ads until the investigation into these allegations is complete."
This could have wider ramifications for Majors, who's one of Hollywood's "It" actors at this moment. He first drew drew attention appearing in The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) followed by Da 5 Bloods (2020), HBO hit series Lovecraft Country, which landed him an Emmy nomination in 2021, and Netflix's western The Harder They Fall (2021).
He's been busy, with starring roles in mega-successful Creed III, which came out March 3, and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, which was released on Feb. 17. He also stars in Magazine Dreams, which made a big debut at the Sundance Film Festival and was sold to Searchlight Pictures with a Dec. 8 release.
Depending on the outcome of the case, it could impact his plans with Marvel Studios. Majors's role as Kang the Conqueror, variations of which he has played in the third Ant-Man movie as well as Loki (2021), is slated to be the primary antagonist facing off against the multiverse's mightiest heroes in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, slated for 2025.
Marvel has yet to issue any statements on the arrest. However, Marvel has been known to recast major characters, if necessary. Parent company Disney has also fired franchise stars and filmmakers for PR reasons.
Majors is scheduled to appear in court on May 8.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on March 27, 2023 at 11:54 a.m. ET and has been updated to include new information.