In March 2023, Jonathan Majors was arrested on charges of assault and aggravated harassment following an incident with his then-girlfriend Grace Jabbari. The shocking news incited a firestorm in the legal system and across the internet, with all who heard of the charges taken aback by the seemingly out-of-character behavior by the Hollywood heartthrob. But in the months that followed Majors’ arrest, those of us following the story closely began to take note of some troubling patterns in the actor’s response to the allegations — and his first time talking about the charges in an on-camera sit-down might be the biggest red flag we’ve seen so far.
After only previously releasing statements on the charges and trial via official statements shared by his legal team, Majors decided to start off the new year with an exclusive ABC News interview, sitting down with Linsay Davis to tell his side. When asked how Jabbari’s injuries after the incident came about, Majors claimed that he had no idea. “I wish to God I knew,” he told Davis, shaking his head. “That would give clarity…that would give me some type of peace about it.” Clips of the conversation also show Majors continuing to not only refute the claims of assault and harassment, but to also assert that the court actually has it all wrong. Majors only partially agreed with the jury’s “shocking” conclusion and claimed that yes, he was reckless with Jabbari, but not with her body — only “with her heart” by not being faithful to the relationship.
Prior to his arrest, Majors was considered publicly as the perfect gentleman; even while playing the fearsome antagonist in projects like Creed III and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, we only knew the actor for his soft-spoken southern drawl, his polarizing comfort with the color pink, and the empty mug that he carried with him everywhere he went for comfort. He was beloved, not just for being handsome and a talented thespian, but because he appeared to be a gentle giant, and a complex and multi-faced renaissance man. However, the case that the prosecution built against him alleged a starkly different vantage point of Majors. Over the course of Majors’ court case, we’ve seen a new side to him emerge, one that often reads more sinister than sincere. Jabbari’s team claimed that their client had been a victim of emotional and physical abuse by the Creed III star for quite some time. The case unearthed details about a previous incident of domestic violence between the two, which quickly opened up a floodgate of other allegations against Majors dating years back corroborating a concerning pattern; dozens of sources reached out to Rolling Stone to anonymously claim that he was known for having an “emotionally violent/professionally abusive” past around the theater scene.
Majors has since denied all of the claims made in Rolling Stone’s report, but his response to the allegations didn’t do the best job of painting a better picture of him either — if anything, Majors and his team’s reaction to the claims only cast the actor in an even sketchier light. Majors mostly stayed silent but employed a peculiar strategy in the court of public opinion. Out of nowhere, Black Hollywood icon Meagan Good began quietly attending his hearings, their sudden strong but silent bond raised questions about when exactly the pair had started dating. A video of Majors randomly breaking up a fight between two kids in an alley also began circulating the internet, sending the timeline into a frenzy. And he kept carrying that mug (and sometimes even a Bible!) everywhere with him, even to court, clutching it tightly in one hand and holding Good’s in the other.
These actions, whether calculated or casual, only seem to confirm many people’s suspicions about Majors and his intense desire to be perceived in a certain way: as some kind of martyr fighting the good fight. A conversation between the former couple shared in court further reiterates that desire. In the recording, after Jabbari comes home drunk one night, Majors proceeds to reprimand her the next day, claiming that she’s not being considerate of his future with her actions. “Grace has to be of a certain mindset to support,” he scolds his then-partner. “Coretta Scott King, do you know who that is? That’s Martin Luther King’s wife. Michelle Obama, Barack Obama’s wife…the woman that supports me — that I support — needs to be a great woman and make sacrifices the way that man is making for her and for them, ultimately.”
“I’m a great man. A great man,” Majors continues. “I am doing great things, not just for me, but for my culture and the world. That is actually the position I’m in. That’s real. I’m not being a dick about it. I didn’t ask for it. I’ve worked, and that’s the situation.”
It isn’t the first time we hear Majors make reference to the sacrifices of Coretta Scott King; in his ABC News interview, he brings her up again, calling new girlfriend Meagan Good “an angel” and “a Coretta” in staying by his side through his trial. Later, Majors shares that the constant callback to Coretta Scott King was an attempt to “motivate, to enlighten, to give perspective as to what [he] was hoping to get out of a relationship.” Here, we see an uncomfortable fixation on the late civil rights activist that may hint at a particularly heightened sense of self-importance. Coretta Scott King has absolutely zero to do with this but has repeatedly been brought into this discourse only because of how she stood by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through his highs and lows (including his alleged infidelities). Majors makes no mention of her many accomplishments and personal contributions to the civil rights movement but is focused mainly on the fact that she was her husband’s ride-or-die until his untimely death. In likening himself and his partners to Martin and Coretta, the suggestion is that Majors’ dream and his cause are worth any woman doing whatever it takes in order for him to succeed — even to her own detriment.
Ultimately, Majors’ main concern isn’t really the mental and emotional well-being of a person that he loved nor the rampant culture of violence against women (that he vehemently denies contributing to), but getting back to the “great work” he was known for before the March incident. Marvel has since canned its plans for Majors to be the centerpiece of its next superhero phase as time-traveling supervillain Kang, and a potential jail sentence hovers over his future, but Majors’ aim is to get right back to making TV shows and films again, telling Davis that he hopes that Hollywood will one day give him another chance. And, given Hollywood’s disappointingly lukewarm stance on domestic abuse and the fact that many are still rallying behind him despite his guilty verdict, it may in fact be possible for Majors to make a comeback center stage. Until then, he’s waiting in the wings, trying his damndest to convince the world that he is somehow the victim and the hero in all this.