Actor Jonathan Majors avoids jail time for assault conviction

NEW YORK: US actor Jonathan Majors was sentenced Monday to a year of domestic violence counseling, but avoided jail time after being convicted of assaulting and harassing his then-girlfriend – a saga that cost him a prime role in Marvel's superhero blockbusters.

Marvel dropped the 34-year-old Majors – whose villainous character Kang the Conqueror was due to be front and center in at least two upcoming films – after his conviction in December 2023.

Majors debuted as Kang in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" earlier in 2023, and was set to appear in at least two subsequent Avengers films – the top franchise in the Marvel universe.

On Monday, a New York judge ordered Majors, who had faced up to one year in prison, to attend 52 weeks of "in-person domestic violence programming" and pursue therapy, the prosecutor's office told AFP.

Virtual counseling and therapy would be an option if Majors were to secure a job outside Los Angeles, where he lives. If he were to be arrested again for any reason, or violated the terms of his sentence in any other way, he could face jail time.

Majors, also noted for his work in "Creed III" opposite Michael B. Jordan, was arrested in March 2023 over a confrontation involving his then-partner Grace Jabbari during a car ride in Manhattan.

The court heard that Majors had received a text message and Jabbari had sought to take his phone, believing the communication to be from another woman, local media reported.

There was then a struggle, with the pair's legal representatives trading accusations over who attacked whom.

Majors was found guilty of assault in the third degree and harassment in the second degree.

"The evidence presented throughout this trial illustrated a cycle of psychological and emotional abuse, and escalating patterns of coercion," Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in December.

Majors has his breakthrough in 2019's "The Last Black Man in San Francisco." He also appeared in Spike Lee's "Da 5 Bloods" before landing a role in HBO series "Lovecraft Country," for which he earned an Emmy nomination. --AFP

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