Jonathan Majors heads to court: What to know about 'Creed III' star's legal issues, accuser

Jonathan Majors, the breakout star of films “Creed III” and "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," is facing legal trouble following an arrest in March.

Police arrested Majors after receiving a 911 call froma Manhattan apartment, where a woman at the scene told officers she had been assaulted. The 33-year-old actor was arraigned on multiple charges, including assault and aggravated harassment.

The actor’s representative denied the allegations and claimed in a statement to USA TODAY that Majors "has done nothing wrong."

Majors has since lost a major brand deal with the U.S. Army, while marquee roles in upcoming film projects remain on the horizon.

Here's what we know so far.

Jonathan Majors, a rising star thanks to roles in u0022Lovecraft Countryu0022 and u0022Creed III,u0022 faces legal troubles following a recent arrest for an alleged altercation.
Jonathan Majors, a rising star thanks to roles in u0022Lovecraft Countryu0022 and u0022Creed III,u0022 faces legal troubles following a recent arrest for an alleged altercation.

Why was Jonathan Majors arrested?

Majors was arrested in New York on March 25 after an alleged domestic violence altercation with a 30-year-old woman.

The New York Police Department confirmed to USA TODAY that Majors was taken into custody after a woman told officers she had been assaulted. The woman was taken to the hospital, police said.

Majors was arraigned on multiple charges, including assault and aggravated harassment, the Manhattan district attorney's office told USA TODAY. In the complaint, the woman claimed she was struck with an open hand, causing a laceration behind her ear, and suffered bruising and pain when she alleged Majors "put his hand on her neck."

In a statement to USA TODAY May 9, Majors' attorney Priya Chaudhry shared the actor's account of events, claiming he was assaulted by the woman. "When Mr. Majors showed a white police officer the injuries the woman caused him, the white officer got in Mr. Majors' face and taunted him, saying that if the officer were to slap Mr. Majors, the officer wouldn't break his finger. None of the white officers present investigated the assault of Mr. Majors. Worse, the District Attorney has not indicated any intention to pursue charges against the woman, or even investigate the truth," Chaudhry wrote.She added: "This glaring double standard between the treatment of Jonathan Majors, a Black man weighing 200 lbs, and his accuser, highlights the racial bias that permeates the criminal justice system."

Neither the alleged victim nor her legal counsel have spoken publicly about the incident.

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Jonathan Majors ordered to stay away from alleged victim

The woman allegedly assaulted by Majors was granted a full temporary order of protection, Douglas Cohen, press secretary for the Manhattan district attorney's office, confirmed to USA TODAY on April 27.

"Today a judge granted a Full Temporary Order of Protection for the victim, per the People’s request and with the consent of defense counsel," Cohen said in a statement.

At the time of the March 25 incident, a limited temporary order of protection was granted. A full temporary order of protection prevents the woman and Majors from having any direct or third-party contact.

Majors' attorney Chaudhry told USA TODAY in a statement April 27 that the issuance of the order is "standard in cases such as this," and they consented to it "because Mr. Majors wants nothing to do with the woman who assaulted him."

"It is disturbing that even when presented with this incontrovertible evidence of a Black man’s innocence, the District Attorney continues this false case," Chaudhry said.

What has Jonathan Majors said about the alleged assault?

While Majors has yet to speak out, his representatives have denounced the charges brought against him. "We look forward to clearing his name and clearing this up," Majors' representative told USA TODAY the day of the arrest.

Chaudhry told USA TODAY in a statement March 26 that Majors "is completely innocent and is provably the victim of an altercation with a woman he knows" and expects charges will be dropped.

Chaudhry said she was submitting evidence to the district attorney – including video footage, witness testimony and written statements – "with the expectation that all charges will be dropped imminently."

On March 30, the actor's attorney released text messages documenting an alleged conversation between the woman and Majors hours after the arrest, in which she says she's “angry” he was arrested and didn't want him charged. The texts have not been independently verified.

"The woman sent text messages to Mr. Majors admitting that she was the one who used physical force against him," Chaudhry said in a statement. "She also disavowed any allegations that he had done anything to her."

Following Majors' first court appearance on May 9, Chaudhry said in a statement that the defense has "provided the District Attorney with irrefutable evidence that the woman is lying, including video proof showing nothing happened, especially not where she claimed."

Chaudhry also has alleged the D.A. has "adjusted the charges" to match the alleged victim's story. "Now, we have obtained even more video evidence of his innocence, but we are hesitant to share it, for fear the DA will tip the woman off to change her story again."

Majors' charges have not changed.

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What happens next with Jonathan Majors?

A judge granted a limited order of protection, preventing Majors and the woman from assaulting or harassing each other, on March 25 and released Majors on his own recognizance.

Majors appeared in court virtually on May 9 for a preliminary hearing. He is due back in court on Aug. 3 for a trial in the case.

Judge Rachel Pauley wished Majors "best of luck" during a hearing in June as she scheduled his trial. "Yes, ma'am," Majors said, standing with his lawyers in front of Pauley’s bench in Manhattan’s domestic violence court.

Pauley told Majors he must continue to abide by a protection order barring him from contact with his accuser. The judge also warned that a warrant could be issued for his arrest if he does not show up for his trial date.

"While we are hopeful that the District Attorney is reviewing these materials in good faith and will do the right thing soon, to accelerate our case, we've requested a trial date ASAP," Chaudry told USA TODAY.

Majors' attorney claimed in a March 26 statement the dispute occurred because the woman "was having an emotional crisis, for which she was taken to a hospital."

"The NYPD is required to make an arrest in these situations, and this is the only reason Mr. Majors was arrested," Chaudhry said. "We expect these charges to be dropped soon."

Jonathan Majors' attorney says video will prove he's innocent in woman's alleged assault

Jonathan Majors loses brand deal with US Army after arrest

Majors' arrest has upended the U.S. Army’s newly launched advertising campaign aimed at reviving the service’s recruitment numbers.

The actor was the narrator of two ads that kicked off at the start of the NCAA’s March Madness college basketball tournament.

In a statement shared March 26 with The Associated Press, the Army’s Enterprise Marketing Office said the Army was aware of Majors’ arrest and was "deeply concerned by the allegations." It added that while Majors "is innocent until proven guilty, prudence dictates that we pull our ads until the investigation into these allegations is complete."

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What movies and TV shows has Jonathan Majors starred in?

A rising star in Hollywood, Majors made his acting debut in the 2011 comedy "Do Not Disturb." The Yale-educated actor went on to star in HBO's fantasy horror series "Lovecraft Country," for which he received an Emmy nomination, as well as the Jeymes Samuel-directed Western drama "The Harder They Fall." Majors also starred as real-life Navy aviator Jesse Brown in the Korean War drama "Devotion."

He joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Kang the Conqueror in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" and stepped into the ring with Michael B. Jordan as Damian Anderson in the boxing drama "Creed III."

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What upcoming movies is Jonathan Majors in?

Major is slated to headline "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty" in 2025.

Next up, he stars as an amateur bodybuilder in "Magazine Dreams" (set for release in December) and plays mercurial basketball icon Dennis Rodman in "48 Hours in Vegas."

Contributing: Kim Willis and Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jonathan Majors accusations explained ahead of star's court hearing