Jonathan Majors, left, at his misdemeanor domestic violence case in New York.
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
Marvel star Jonathan Majors’ NY domestic violence trial is in its second week.On Monday, prosecutors called their two best eyewitnesses to the stand.One admitted being “intoxicated” that night, and the other, a driver, actually helped the defense.
Prosecutors’ two best eyewitnesses took the stand but did very little damage to Marvel star Jonathan Majors at his Manhattan domestic violence trial on Monday, instead testifying they were drunk or hardly saw anything on the night in question.
The testimony of the two witnesses — both of whom were with Majors’ accuser during or after the midnight lovers’ quarrel on the streets of Chinatown this past March — had been touted as important in opening statements last week.
A chauffeur saw Majors throw ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari back into the hired car “like a football,” jurors had been told in openings. And a drinking buddy had direct knowledge that Jabbari’s hand was injured, they were told.
But neither the chauffeur nor the drinking buddy quite lived up to their opening statements’ billing when they actually took the stand Monday.
Neither witnessed any actual violence or injuries, they testified at the trial, at which the actor sits at the defense table and girlfriend Meagan Good sits directly behind him in the front row of the audience.
A risky trial
The “Kang the Conquerer” and “Creed 3” actor risks a maximum one-year jail sentence and career-crippling reputational damage if he is convicted of misdemeanor assault and harassment.
Already, the trial has shone an ugly spotlight on Majors. Last week, year-old text messages read aloud to jurors showed Majors, 34, urging Jabbari, 30, not to get medical help for an unspecified injury for fear he’d be swept up in an “investigation.”
Other texts revealed at trial showed Majors telling Jabbari that she needed to act more like Michelle Obama and sacrifice for him.
Jonathan Majors; Grace Jabbari.
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews; AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews
“I believe Grace and I sat on the couch for a little bit together,” the prosecution’s first eyewitness, Chloe Zoller, told the jury on Monday under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Michael Perez.
“While we were sitting there,” Zoller testified of Jabbari, “she informed me that her finger was hurting. I grabbed a piece of ice from the ice bucket and I held it to her finger. “
It’s significant testimony.
Majors is fighting the charges by arguing that Jabbari had injured her own self hours hours after their fight, during a drunken fall while alone in his Manhattan triplex apartment. So testimony that Jabbari was injured before then is very helpful to the prosecution.
But on cross-examination by defense lawyer Seth Zuckerman, Zoller could not remember which of Jabbari’s fingers she applied ice to.
“You didn’t observe any marks on her face?” Zuckerman asked. “No,” Zoller answered. “On her neck?” “No,” she answered.
“On her ear? On her finger?” No and no, she answered.
“I was intoxicated”
Even before reaching the club, “I was intoxicated,” Zoller had conceded early in her testimony. She couldn’t remember taking a selfie on the dance floor with Jabbari, or hugging her at the end of the night, both of which were captured by surveillance video.
Zoller was describing a night of drinking at a Lower Manhattan nightclub with Jabbari, who she’d just met on the sidewalk moments after the lover’s quarrel.
The spat had been prompted by Jabbari seeing a text on Majors’ cellphone from another woman as they rode through Lower Manhattan in the back seat of a hired car.
“Wish I was kissing you,” the text read.
Jonathan Majors and Meagan Good inside Manhattan Criminal Court.
Prosecutors say Majors fractured Jabbari’s right middle finger in a tussle in the back seat over his phone. The actor smacked her in the side of the head so hard, they say, that she suffered a bleeding gash behind her right ear.
Surveillance video obtained exclusively by Business Insider from eight minutes after the fight show no apparent damage to Jabbari’s hand and ear. In the video, she holds a heavy winter coat and uses both hands to twist her hair into a bun without flinching.
Additional video, from the nightclub, shows Jabbari using her right hand to pull Majors’ credit card out of her wallet, squeeze a lime into a drink, pass a note to the DJ and hold hands with Zoller.
Hugging ear to ear
At least twice, Zoller and Jabbari hug each other during the night, their right ears appearing to press together.
“Did you ever find any blood on your clothes?” Zuckerman asked Zoller, showing her video of their long, ear-to-ear parting hug at the nightclub door. “No,” Zoller answered.
On redirect, the assistant district attorney, Perez, attempted to do some damage control.
“Throughout any of the hugging was there any point where you made contact with the back of her ear?” he asked Zola. “Not that I am aware,” she answered.
During his own turn on the stand, chauffeur Naveed Sarwar made no mention of Majors throwing Jabbari like a “football” into his car, as promised in openings, though he testified Majors did try to push her back inside at one point.
“I saw that they were fighting among themselves,” Sarwar testified through an Urdu interpreter.
“He was trying to get rid of her. He was saying, ‘Leave me alone. I have to go,'” the driver testified.
“She was doing it”
“He was not doing anything. She was doing it,” he said of the fight in his back seat, sounding more like a defense witness than a prosecution witness.
He did not directly see any violence, because he was staring straight ahead, Sarwar stressed.
“I had a feeling,” the driver added at another point in his testimony, “that the girl had hit the boy.”
Asked why he felt that way, he answered, “Because the way she was fighting and the sounds produced.”
Also Monday, prosecutors called to the stand the emergency room doctor who treated Jabbari’s broken finger and bleeding ear on the afternoon after the fight.
“She got into an argument with her boyfriend, took two sleeping pills,” Dr. William Chiang told jurors, describing what Jabbari had told him.
But Jabbari could not, at that point, describe the “mechanism of injury,” meaning how the injury happened, Chiang said.
Testimony continues Tuesday, with a prosecution domestic violence expert set to take the stand.